Minister Mukupe blows top, chokes senior bureaucrat over ‘small’ travel allowance

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Finance and Economic Development deputy minister Terence Mukupe was last month arrested and admitted to a charge after a vicious attack on a ministry top official.

Mukupe reportedly blew his top after being denied a top-up on his travel stipend.

According to police documents relating to the case, Mukupe paid a $30 guilty fine.

In his statement of complaint to police, Ignatius Mvere the director of finance at Treasury, said Mukupe wanted to force him to break the law.

“Prior to this incident, on 25 March 2018, accused travelled top South Africa on business attending Sadc meetings and returned on 28 March 2018.

“According to our treasury circular, I had given him $910 but he insisted I must give him much more than that,” said Mvere.

The top civil servant said he stood his ground despite pressure from the deputy minister.

“I could not give him more money since he had no reasonable grounds or a letter from the Minister of Finance authorizing me to pay him more than what is in the treasury circular,” he said.

On his return from South Africa, Mukupe took his demands to a whole new level using violence to access public funds. Mvere narrated his ordeal to police in a statement accompanying his complaint against the minister.

“I recall on 29 March 2018 at around 0745hers I reported for duty to my office as usual at around 1230hrs, whilst in the office together with Garikai Mukombero who is the human resources assistant in the ministry accused Terrence Mukupe, banged my door and entered into my office. His face looked angry,” said Mvere.

He said when he stood up to greet his boss, a ragging Mukupe charged at him and hemmed him in.

“The accused insulted me saying ‘you are very stupid why did you give me less money whilst travelling to South Africa’ he then got closer to me and clasped my neck and pushed me against the computer table.

“Accused continued to assault and was shouting ‘usandijairire’ (do not get on my nerves). Garikai Mukombero tried to refrain (sic) the accused but he failed and he rushed to the office of the human resources director, Steward Jailos,” the bureaucrat added.

Mukombero, according to the statement, went out to seek help from others but returned to see Mukupe still holding his victim by the throat and unrelenting.
Mvere said he now feared for his life.

Police, in a letter to Mvere, confirmed Mukupe had been arrested, charged and paid a guilt fine.

“Reference your report to the police on 29 March 2018 for assault as defined in Section 89 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23, accused Terence Mukupe was arrested, he admitted to the charge and deposited $30 fine at Harare Central Police Station on 10 April 2018, Harare Central Z69J Number 1308983B refers,” police officer commanding Law and Order said in the April 12 letter.

Human resources director, Steward Jailos, who came to the 58 year old Mvere’s rescue, deposited a statement as a witness detailing a chaotic scene with Mukupe at the centre holding his victim by the throat.

“Mukombero appeared at my door shouting in haste that the deputy minister of Finance and Economic Development was choking and beating up Mvere in his office.

“I immediately ran to Mvere’s office whereupon I saw accused Terence Mukupe’s hands clasped on Mvere’s neck almost choking him at the same time breathing a barrage of threats while Mvere was trying to free himself,” Jailos said adding the deputy minister only relented “when I moved forward to intervene physically”.

Jailos described a chaotic scene with shocked junior employees watching helplessly.

“I noticed that Mvere was shrivelled, visibly shaken and terrified after being manhandled by accused. Documents were strewn all over and the desktop computer and printers in his office were displaced with cables uprooted from wall sockets,” said Jailos.