By Staff Reporter
GOKWE Town Secretary Melania Mandeya was Thursday arrested by police officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Gokwe on allegations of criminal abuse of office.
Some of the charges date back to 2011.
Sources said Mandeya had been under the radar of investigation following reports of wide-spread corruption at Gokwe Town House.
“Operations at Gokwe Town House leave a lot to be desired. There are serious reports of underhand dealings which are taking place,” the source said.
“This resulted in the arrest of the town secretary by CID Gokwe on Thursday for questioning on charges of criminal abuse of office allegations,” a source privy to the developments at Gokwe council office said.
Mandeya is expected to appear before the courts Friday.
Meanwhile, the Anti Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACTSA) has been calling for investigations to be carried out on Mandeya.
In October last year, ACTSA released a dossier detailing corruption at Gokwe Town House.
In the report, ‘The State of Corruption, Service Delivery and Maladministration at Gokwe Town House’, Mandeya was reported to be unqualified for the position she holds.
“It is alleged that the current Town Secretary was offered the position regardless of having come fourth in the interviews and not having the required qualifications. Before the interview, the panel was allegedly coached by the then council chairperson to give marks to Melania Mandeya,” ACTSA alleged.
“Furthermore, the incumbent did not apply for the post during the first round of applications and the post had to be re-advertised to accommodate her application.”
The report further said some powerful individuals at the Local Government Ministry facilitated the getting of the job by Mandeya and before she even commenced work, Mandeya received a salary and associated allowances.
Mandeya was also accused of awarding tenders to cronies.
“It is alleged that tenders are sometimes awarded to family members, friends and compatriots. For instance, the tender for the supply of curtains to the Town House was awarded to a relative, whilst in May 2019, the tender for catering services of a bench-marking exercise was awarded to another relative,” the report read.
The dossier further highlighted, “On or about 2011/2 the local authority paid US$23 000 for a brand new Nissan NP 300, which was never delivered to date.”
The report further highlighted that the council bought a Chevrolet vehicle for US$58 000, “where there were other bidders who had charged less. For instance, there was a bidder who had charged US$51 000. Considering financial constraints besetting the local authority, it would have saved $7 000.”
The report added that against council regulations, Mandeya had also grabbed two residential stands in Gokwe’s low density area.