President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration yesterday arrested former Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Petronella Kagonye for fraud allegations during her tenure during the late President Robert Mugabe’s era.
Kagonye becomes the third former Minister to be arrested on graft charges since Mnangagwa overthrew Mugabe in 2017.
Upon assumption of office, Mnangagwa vowed to deal with corruption which he said had crippled the nation during Mugabe’s 37-year rule, in which he served in top posts
Charges against Kagonye relate to allegations that she gave out state land in both Harare and Mashonaland Central Provinces.
Mnangagwa’s controversial Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) confirmed Kagonye’s arrest.
“Yes, she has been arrested on alleged land scams, but police will avail more details,” said Tabani Mpofu, SACU’s head.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said Kagonye’s arrest was coordinated by the Police Anti-Corruption Unit and SACU.
“Kagonye was arrested on fraud allegations related to illegal land sales in and around Harare and Mashonaland East provinces,” he said.
Sometime in 2015, Kagonye — through her company Glorious Properties — was sucked into Goromonzi South land disputes where she was accused of swindling cooperatives, among them Shingiriro Housing Cooperative.
Apart from land deals, Kagonye may also face allegations of diverting at least US$400 000 from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) during her tenure as minister.
She becomes the 11th senior government official to be nabbed for corruption and abuse of office together with other former ministers like Ignatius Chombo and Prisca Mupfumira
Last week, Mnangagwa vowed to restore order and ensure proper planning and development in an urban area after years of poor running by the MDC led councils.
He said the Government would offer alternative spaces for desperate home-seekers who have been given a raw deal by urban councils and land barons, sometimes the same people and often working together.
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