HARARE, May 14 — Zimbabwe’s former Energy and Power Development Minister, Elton Mangoma, has appeared before the Harare Magistrate’s Court to face charges of criminal abuse of office and was remanded out of custody to June 15 this year on 41,000 US dollars bail.

Mangoma, 54, is being accused of awarding a company, OK Zimbabwe, a tender for prepaid electricity tokens without going to tender during his tenure as Energy Minister in the previous coalition government. Magistrate Douglas Chikwekwe released him on 1,000 USD bail with the consent of the State.

As part of his bail conditions, Mangoma was ordered to reside at his Mount Pleasant home here until the matter is finalized and to report at police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) fraud section every Friday.
Mangoma was further ordered to surrender his passport to the clerk of court before being released.

However, his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said the police did not furnish Mangoma with the full details of allegations against him to enable him answer the charges hence infringing his rights under section 71 sub
section (a) of the constitution.

She filed a notice to challenge the validity of a profiling form that Mangoma was made to fill in by the police saying it violated his rights to privacy and dignity.

“We asked for the relevant details and relevant minutes that gave rights to the offense and these were denied to him. We were not aware that every accused person is now profiled using a form not related to the offense called a profiling form where accused was asked if he has a girlfriend or not, asked for his bank details and full details of spouse if married,” she said.

“Your worship, I will be filling a detailed application challenging the constitutional validity of that form on the basis that it infringes section 51 of the Constitution which provides for the right to dignity. It also violates the right to privacy.”

The State is alleging that on Aug 31 in 2012, the power distributor ZETDC floated tender number ZETDC 13/2012 for the appointment of third party prepaid electricity vending but before closure of the tender on Oct 2, Mangoma directed the power utility accounting officer, Julian Chinembiri, to cancel the tender.

It is alleged that Mangoma instructed Chinembiri to handpick OK Zimbabwe without going to tender.
On Sept 27, 2012 the State Procurement Board (SPB) cancelled the tender through PBR 1735 in line with ZETDC’s request as directed by Mangoma and Ok was on Dec 20 that same year appointed the third
party pre-paid electricity vendor.