(Ecofin Agency) - Zimbabwe’s former minister of ICT and cybersecurity, Supa Mandiwanzira (photo), appears in court today November 7, 2018. Heard on November 6, 2018, by the criminal investigations division, the former minister who was in charge of the telecom sector till September 2018 is accused of criminal abuse of office by Zimbabwean authorities.
He is charged with having awarded a consulting contract to the Chinese company Megawatt in violation of the procedures. Supa Mandiwanzira is also being prosecuted for having unilaterally chosen the company to determine whether Huawei had not overcharged the construction of the telecom station NetOne, which it was awarded in 2012 for $248 million. According to the charges, the former minister asked Huawei to pay $1 million to Megawatt for consultancy and $4 million for services.
He is suspected of having had interests in Megawatt Company, thus the facilities he granted to the company. According to Me Brian Hungwe, the ex-minister's lawyer, the politician is contesting all the charges brought against him and he has informed the police that "Megawatt offered consultancy services at no cost to the Government. He also reminded them that the consultancy led to the recovery of tens of millions of dollars for NetOne".
Another charge against the politician is the unprocedural nomination of Tawanda Chinembiri, his personal assistant, in the board of the Post andTelecommunications Regulatory Agency of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ). A nomination which cost POTRAZ $35,000 in terms of indemnities.