I am a victim of political harassment- Mangoma

The former Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion who is also the president of the Coalition of Democrats, Elton Mangoma has distanced himself from the charges of criminal abuse of office being laid against him emanating from the time he was a minister.

Mangoma who is jointly charged with the suspended ZESA CEO Joshua Chifamba and ZESA enterprises managing director Tereerai Mutasa pleaded not guilty to the charges before Harare Magistrate Francis Mapfumo indicating that they were nothing but a mere attempt to smear his name with dirt and harass him politically.

Mutasa and Chifamba also denied the allegations saying they had followed proper procedures.

The three are facing charges of criminal abuse of office as public officers and the trial commenced with the investigating officer detective Assistant Inspector Energy Mudandishe testifying.

The trio allegedly connived and tendered an unprocedural tender to a South Korean company in 2010.

It is the State’s case that in 2010 Choi Young Jin of Techpro company ltd of South Korea met Mangoma at his offices in Harare and they agreed to enter into a technology transfer partnership between ZESA Ent and Techpro company of South Korea.

Mangoma instructed Mutasa to liaise with Techpro with the view to establish a partnership.

Mutasa then wrote to the State Procurement Board (SPB) seeking advise on procedures to be followed in such partnerships and he was advised to proceed with Section 49 of the Repealed Procurement Regulation Act Chapter 22.14 and to seek assistance from State Enterprises Restructuring Agents (SERA) on how to proceed.

SERA advised Mutasa to prepare a memorandum which Mangoma would submit to the inter-ministerial committee, (IMCCPP) on commercialization and privatization of parastatals recommending Techpro through a competitive bidding process.

On receiving the business proposal memorandum and bid documents for tender, Chifamba and Mangoma connived to bypass the approval by IMCCPP and the competitive bidding process showing favor to Techpro.

The state said that the act was unprocedural and caused ZESA enterprises to suffer prejudice of $850 000.