By Idah Mhetu
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s top ally and former director State residences Douglas Tapfuma was late Tuesday arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) on corruption allegations.
It was understood that Tapfuma was being detained at Malbereign Police Station facing charges of criminal abuse office.
While Zacc officials were not available for comment immediately, a top official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the arrest.
“Yes he has been picked up,” said the insider.
The source added that “Tapfuma is facing allegations of using letters from the President’s Office to facilitate the importation of vehicles for friends and relatives duty-free.”
He was expected to appear at the Harare Magistrates court on Wednesday.
Tapfuma who was principal director at State House was in November 2018, Mnangagwa’s right hand man when he returned from brief exile to seize power following the military coup that toppled former President Robert Mugabe.
Then principal director, Tapfuma was early last year elevated to director State residencies following the sacking of Innocent Tizora, Mugabe’s last director in charge of presidential properties.
But Tapfuma was to be relegated to a less influential post of principal director, monitoring and evaluation in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), after allegations of abuse of office exploded into the public domain including claims he had used his position to buy cars for friends circumventing tax authorities.
Tapfuma becomes the second high profile official to be arrested inside two weeks after last week’s seizure of Tourism Minister Priscah Mupfumira. Mupfumira is currently in remand prison awaiting trial for a litany of charges connected to the looting at the National Social Security Authority.
Mnangagwa has declared a zero tolerance to corruption and recently declared the Zacc board chaired by Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo “has teeth and will bite.”