Norton legislator Themba Mliswa has written an explosive letter to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission asking the anti-graft board to investigate ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga for alleged misconduct, fraud and corruption in the acquisition of vehicles for the police force.
In the letter addressed to ZACC chairperson Justice Mathanda-Moyo, Mliswa alleged that the police commissioner had committed an act of fraud through embezzling ZRP in the purchase of some 80 police vehicles through Croco Motors.
“In December 2019, Matanga, in the company of his Chief Staff Officer, Transport and Logistics, Commissioner Hlabiso, is alleged to have paid a visit to Croco Motors with the intent to purchase 80 operations vehicles without following due tender process and procedure.
“In his personal capacity, Matanga is then alleged to have instructed Croco Motors to clear the eighty (80) vehicles on Customs Clearance Certificates (CCC) under the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Matanga is further alleged to have instructed Croco Motors to brand the aforementioned vehicles in the ZRP colours ready for collection.”
Mliswa added: “During routine inspections of Croco Motors, ZIMRA officials discovered various anomalies in the procurement process of the aforementioned vehicles. As an alarm was raised, Matanga is alleged to have panicked and subsequently could not make collection of the vehicles as initially agreed and Matanga is then alleged to have hastily made an attempt to institute regulated tender procedures in retrospect, but in vain.”
Mliswa further alleges that Matanga proceeded to have payment made for 15 of the 80 ZRP branded vehicles which are currently parked at a ZRP warehouse, Transport Section whilst the remaining 65 vehicles remained at the Croco Motors bonded warehouse in Harare.
According to the firebrand legislator, efforts by Matanga to engage the Croco Motors’ owner proved fruitless leaving him exposed and in a quandary.
“Matanga is subsequently alleged to have initiated negotiations for condonation papers for the ZRP branded vehicles at the Croco Motors bonded warehouse as a way of concealing his corrupt administrative practices.
“What is further extremely disconcerting to note is that the price paid for these vehicles by the ZRP was approximately double the actual value of the vehicle from other players who were denied the opportunity to tender as the procurement process was flouted and fraught with irregularities whilst prejudicing the ZRP of a huge sum of money in the process,” he said.
In another allegation against the police chief, Mliswa said Matanga allegedly approached Scanlinik with the intention of buying command vehicles for Chief Superintendents and Assistant Commissioners at a cost of approximately US$43 000.00 each for the former and US$66 000.00 each for the latter.
“The total number of vehicles is yet to be verified. Once again acting in connivance with Commissioner Hlabiso and this time with Scanlink representatives, the values of the aforementioned vehicles were inflated two-fold at the behest of Matanga.
“This price anomaly however came to light, and in an attempt to conceal the corruption, the police tried to engage Scanlink to reimburse the value of the inflated amount.”
Mliswa further alleges that Matanga subsequently ignored the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) procurement procedures in blatant abuse of office.
“Such an allegation against Matanga would appear not to be new, as during his tenure as the Deputy Commissioner-General (administration) during the Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri era, Matanga is said to have sourced goods and services from personally known friends and acquaintances for self-aggrandisement.
“These dealings are said to be fraught with irregularities and attempts are alleged to have been made by Matanga to have these dealings swept under the carpet whilst yet other dealings conducted by former Commissioner Chihuri and himself are alleged to have been torn to shreds to conceal the evidence,” Mliswa said.
He said he had sources to confirm that Matanga is also involved in residential stands scams.
“I further have it on good authority that Matanga is the recipient of five residential stands at the Sandton development near Westgate in Harare, obtained through allegedly corrupt means through a one, Felix Munyaradzi and it is also believed that Matanga is the beneficiary of further stands through the then Mayor of Harare, Herbert Gomba. AS a result an investigation into these allegations is necessary.”
Mliswa further alleged that Matanga was aligned to Delish Nguwaya for the purposes of bribery which would appear to have sucked in the Director of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the President’s Office, Thabani Mpofu as well as members of the Magistrates Court.
“This alleged cartel is said to be causing fear and despondency to its victims who are allegedly arrested either by the ZRP or SACU and whilst placed on remand through the contacts at the Courts, bribes are demanded from them to secure their release. These alleged syndicates are belived to target those loyal to His Excellency, President E. D. Mnangagwa, senior ZRP officers as well as other individuals.”
Mliswa said Matanga was not above the law and urged ZACC to inquire into the issues raised.
He added that further investigations should be launched into the existence of an alleged syndicate amongst senior police officers who are at the forefront of purging senior officers involved in opening dockets and gathering evidence against perpetrators of corruption within the ranks.