17 February 2019

Zimbabwe: CIO Dirty Secrets Exposed

A top Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) officer has accused his bosses in the spy agency of victimising him because they fear he will expose their corrupt activities.

Augustine Mutambu, the CIO's material resources manager, said most of the CIO's operations were marred by corruption and scandals.

He said his presence in the secret service was being viewed as a threat, hence the senior management's continued refusal to have him reinstated. He was suspended on March 19, 2018.

"I verily believe I was then suspended from work in an effort to dismiss me so that, knowing too much of their skeletons, the culprits would create an information gap within the organisation and no one would expose or know their shenanigans," Mutambu said in his founding affidavit filed in a court application pending at the High Court.

Mutambu recently petitioned the court seeking an order to compel CIO director general Isaac Moyo and National Security minister Owen Ncube to allow him to return to work and to declare his suspension unlawful.

He said, he was suspended on allegations of unspecified "improper conduct", and was directed not to report for duty pending investigations.

"Of course, I now understand that the allegations against me do not have anything to do with state secrets, but that I am alleged to have been corruptly awarding contracts of service provision with respect to CIO works and purchases. This is spurious and the allegations have no merit," he said.

"I was merely a secretary of the CIO procurement committee, which was often alternately chaired by the organisation's director general or his deputy and composed of members who were all my seniors, including the director administration, who originated my suspension order.

"It is clear the organisation is using me as a scapegoat for their corrupt activities for I had neither power nor say over what they (procurement committee) deliberated on and resolved, except to record their recommendations for awarding of contracts or decisions to secure assets or liabilities for the CIO."

Mutambu also said soon after his suspension, there were concerted efforts by the former CIO director for administration to cover up his corrupt activities by immediately appointing a former senior official's girlfriend into his position.

He said he was ready to provide the court with a few examples of corrupt activities at the spy agency to back his claims.

"Acquisition of the organisation's properties in Emerald Hill was irregular [because it did not] match the value of the funds paid," he said.

"The then director general was directly involved. The re-doing of the foyer works at Chaminuka Building, for which I am now being charged, was supervised by me as a result of direct instructions by the then director general, then director for administration and the now current director for administration," he said.

"I was often ordered by the then director general to carry out his completely private business, as where I traversed Mashonaland West province during working days to look for a farm for (his father-in-law) Madzingira, until I found one."

Mutambu also said the former director had a score to settle with him because he believed he did not treat him fairly during his tenure as chief transport officer for the organisation.

"The short of it is that there is no merit in the claimed suspension, except as an abuse of authority to settle scores and a measure by powers-that-be to forestall leakage of their deals, hence its continued unlawful operation," he charged.

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