HARARE City Council’s recently reinstated human resources director Cainos Chingombe was yesterday arrested by police working with the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (Sacu) for alleged criminal abuse of office and defrauding the local authority of millions of dollars.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Chingombe was recently reinstated by the MDC-dominated council after a full council meeting despite an audit report that fingered him in a number of allegations that led to his dismissal in 2018.
The Local Government ministry, however, did not ratify his dismissal.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi last night confirmed the arrest. Sacu head Tabani Mpofu also confirmed the arrest.
“I cannot comment at this stage. I am waiting for the docket from the police,” Mpofu said. Allegations that led to Chingombe’s arrest include the irregular awarding of huge sums of allowances to senior council officials, including hefty holiday pecks.
Chingombe also allegedly bought vehicles using council money for council officials, but the vehicles were registered in their personal names. According to a 2018 audit report which formed the basis of his arrest, Chingombe authorised the purchase of the vehicles without following the State Procurement Board and the council procedures for motor vehicle acquisitions.
“The human capital director recommended to the caretaker council a deviation from the Procurement Act and the normal procurement procedure of the council in his report tabled before the council on July 30, 2013,” the audit report read in part.
- Chamisa under fire over US$120K donation
- Mavhunga puts DeMbare into Chibuku quarterfinals
- Pension funds bet on Cabora Bassa oilfields
- Councils defy govt fire tender directive
“In an interview with the human capital director, he specifically stated that the reasoning behind the deviation from the normal procedures was to circumvent procurement processes which he felt were unnecessarily cumbersome, a position that had been discussed at length with the town clerk and chamber secretary.”
Chingombe is also said to have purchased a new vehicle and registered it in his name despite being the proposer of the scheme which was devised only to avoid the procurement processes, the report also stated.
He also allegedly paid hefty holiday pecks for council officials without authority. Chingombe is expected to appear in court soon.
l Follow Moses on Twitter @mmatenga