HARARE – Former Energy Minister Elton Mangoma and two ZESA Holdings executives were arrested on Monday accused of corruptly awarding a tender.

Mangoma, then of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was Energy Minister during the term of a power sharing government between his party and Zanu PF from 2009 through 2013.

He is facing charges of criminal abuse of office together with ZESA CEO Joshua Chifamba and ZENT managing director Tererai Mutasa.

They are accused of corruptly awarding a tender to a South Korean company in October 2011 without going to tender.

In a statement, Mangoma said: “It is being alleged that I as former Minister of Energy and Power Development, in the exercise of my duties as a public officer, connived with Joshua Chifamba to unlawfully and intentionally do that which was contrary to or inconsistent with my duties as a public officer by approving a business plan on the proposed switchgear technology transfer agreement between Techpro Company of South Korea and ZESA Enterprises, a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings, without going through the tender procedures for the purpose of avoiding a competitive bidding process thereby showing favour to Techpro Company of South Korea.”

His lawyer Tonderayi Bhatarasa said they would vigorously fight the charges.

According to Bhatarasa, Mangoma was invited for an interview by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission early Monday. Later in the day they decided to charge him before he was locked up at Malbereign Police Station awaiting a court appearance, most likely on Tuesday.

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Chifamba is facing a separate corruption trial relating to a US$35 million tender awarded to Indian company, PME.