A FORMER Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) lecturer has petitioned the High Court seeking an order to direct President Emmerson Mnangagwa to suspend pending dismissal the institution’s vice-chancellor, Edias Mwenje on allegations of corruption and abuse of office.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Macleans Mzumara’s application came after Mwenje approached the court on October 5 seeking $300 000 from him for alleged defamation of character and injured reputation.
Mwenje alleged that Mzumara was circulating emails scandalising him by making false, spurious, unfounded and malicious accusations against him.
However, in his response, Mzumara urged the court to issue an order compelling the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption (Zacc) to investigate and arrest Mwenje.
Mzumara said he stood by what he said against Mwenje, since it was public information contained in a report based on a forensic audit carried out by Grant Thornton.
“If his (Mwenje) image has been tarnished it is self-inflicted. Plaintiff should have known the consequences of engaging in corruption and other criminal activities as uncovered in the Grant Thornton Report and the resultant of being put on the radar by the Zacc are due to his bad decisions and cannot blame others,” he said.
“Plaintiff was fully investigated by independent forensic audit firm Grant Thornton and a 93-page report was compiled highlighting issues that now he is seeking defamation on. Plaintiff, after dissolving the finance committee, unilaterally invested in Tetrad $550 000 without the consent of the BUSE at a time his nephew Tapiwa Virima, at Tetrad, was expecting promotion. Tetrad failed to pay on maturity (page 65 Grant Thornton report).”
Mzumara further said Mwenje consumed benefits such as payment of electricity, water, DSTV and internet bills at his residence without authorisation from his empolyers.
“Plaintiff overpaid himself $19 410 in domestic worker allowances and never felt morally obliged to pay back to the university. At page 70, plaintiff violated tender procedures in the purchase of stand number 325, Bindura Township at a cost of $450 000,” he said.
“He further committed an act of misconduct in disobeying the ministerial circular 16 of 2013 that stipulated that a vice chancellor at a State University was entitled to a “Mercedes Benz E280/E300 sedan/Prado saloon vehicle which should not cost more than $120 000. Plaintiff procured an E350 at a cost of $130 246,” he said.
Mzumara further said Mwenje recruited his wife Judith Mwenje and promoted her to the post of senior lecturer despite not being qualified.
“She (Judith) is considered as unqualified by the Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education to teach in the Faculty of Commerce in a full time salary in the weekend/part time program due to mismatch of her qualifications,” he said.
Mzumara alleged that Mwenje’s brother — an assistant bursar-student accounts — approved some of the controversial transactions despite her lowly rank.