The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has arrested Mberengwa Rural District Council Chief executive officer, Thompson Mayeresera, over a corruption case involving US$155, 000, Grazers News has established.
Chamunorwa Murava, the ZACC communications officer, confirmed the development and revealed that the council’s senior accounts clerk, Kurai Shoko, had also been arrested by the anti-graft body for theft of trust property amounting to 47 000 South African rands.
“We carried out our investigations and built the two cases, so we ended up arresting the two. We submitted the evidence to the police and we are confident that we have strong cases against the officials,” he said.
In December last year, ZACC investigators spent 10 days at the Mberengwa Rural District C checking the local authority’s books.
At that time, the Mberengwa district development doordinator, Vafios Hlabati described the visit as routine and said the ZACC investigators wanted to check if there were any anomalies in the books of accounts.
Murava told Grazers News that more details of the case would come out when Mayeresa and Shoko appear at the Mberengwa magistrates court.
“What we can reveal is that the case of the CEO involves abuse of money with a value of US$155, 000 while the senior accounts clerk stole trust property amounting to 47 000 rands. More details will be known by the public in due course,” he said.
Obert Chinhamo, the Anti Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) director commended ZACC for the arrests at Mberengwa RDC but urged the body to build solid cases that would cause convictions.
“We have seen ZACC arresting so many public sector top officials but the arrests have not been matched by actual convictions.
“It may be that ZACC would have detected corruption but failed to build strong cases that can be proven beyond reasonable doubt at the courts. So, there is need f0r ZACC to invest much energy in gathering evidence for all the cases they handle,” he said.
Chinhamo urged ZACC to investigate more rural district councils.
In 2021, ZACC arrested three rural district council bosses.
Muzarabani chief executive officer, Ennie Mafa and Guruve Chief executive, Tinos Marisa, were arrested by ZACC over authorising illegal mining contracts to local companies while Victor Nyamutsva, the Mudzi council CEO, was arrested for awarding himself a hefty salary.