REGISTRAR-GENERAL Clemence Masango has been arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on charges of flouting tender procedures when buying five vehicles for the Central Registry and taking seven other Government vehicles to his farm for personal use.
Masango spent last night at Mabelreign Police Station pending his initial court appearance today.
Giving details of the charges, ZACC spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure said: “He faces two counts of criminal abuse of office. He is accused of procuring five vehicles without following laid down tender procedures. He also faces another count of taking seven Government vehicles, meant for the RG’s provincial offices, to do his personal errands at his farm,” said Comm Makamure. “He will appear at the Harare Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.”
Last week Masango clashed with the chief accountant in his office, Mr Peter Bwanya, who accused him of abuse of office over vehicles. But Masango denied all wrongdoing, saying Mr Bwanya was putting up a smokescreen since he is fighting disciplinary action over alleged incompetence and misbehaviour.
Mr Bwanya made a swathe of allegations, mainly involving the purchase or non-purchase of vehicles, which Masango responded to point by point while criticising ZACC for launching an investigation before seeking an audit report on the allegations and on his office’s purchases and use of its purchasing budget.
The only one of Mr Bwanya’s allegations that now forms part of the charges against Masango is the purchase of five vehicles when 11 were approved and budgeted for. Masango responded to that allegation by saying that when the approval and budget were given, the exchange rate was 1-1 between the RTGS dollar and the US dollar. When the foreign currency was released there was a US dollar cost.
The second charge, of the misuse and personal use of seven vehicles by Masango, was not part of Mr Bwanya’s allegations and arises out of ZACC’s own investigations.