Zimbabwe Health Minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested by police on Friday over allegations of corruption in government procurement of around $60 million worth of medical equipment. Latest report say he was granted bail on Saturday.
Last week Delish Nguwaya, said to be a local representative of international pharmaceutical firm Drax International, the company supplying the equipment to the government, was arrested over the same deal, according to the state-owned Zimbabwe broadcasting Commission.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from long time leader Robert Mugabe after a military coup in 2017, has since cancelled the procurement deals.
In addition to the novel coronavirus, which has infected nearly 500 people and caused four deaths, Zimbabwe is facing worst economic crisis in more than a decade and increasing public anger over inadequate services and government corruption. … Granted Bail
The minister was released from police custody Saturday on about $600 bail.
James Mutizwa, the attorney for Health Minister Obediah Moyo, told journalists Saturday outside Magistrate Court in Harare, “Bail was granted. He is out on bail. No comment. Thank you.”
Moyo is facing three counts of criminal abuse of office as a public official in relation to the procurement of material worth $60 million to fight COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.
Following the arrest, a doctors group said it was worried about the abuse of COVID-19 funds.
Dr. Nyika Mahachi, the president of Zimbabwe College of Public Health Physicians, said, “This is an unfortunate development. As an apolitical association, it is our interest in public health to ensure that resources that are allocated for COVID-19 response, health services or public services in general are used in a transparent and fair manner. … What we look forward to is a full understanding of the investigation of what really transpired to ensure that the culprits are brought to book, whoever they are.”
Since coming to power in 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he is committed to fighting corruption, which was associated with senior officials of the government of his predecessor, the late Robert Mugabe.
Information Ministry Secretary Nick Mangwana issued a statement Saturday saying, “The biggest mistake I can ever make as a public officer is to doubt President Mnangagwa’s commitment to fighting graft. He has made it clear to us that we are not immune from prosecution and nobody will be insulated from having their day in court.”
Moyo is expected back in court this month, when he could get a trial date.
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