Africa Moyo, Harare Bureau
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday sacked incarcerated Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Priscah Mupfumira saying her conduct was not in line with what is expected from a Government minister.
Mupfumira is facing a slew of criminal abuse of public office charges involving US$95 million of National Social Security Authority (NSSA) funds.
She also faces two fresh charges after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) reportedly established that she was involved in money laundering and fraudulently ordered companies dealing with NSSA to transfer money into her personal bank account.
In a letter to Mupfumira , Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said, “Please be advised that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde ED Mnangagwa, has in terms of section 340, subsection (i), paragraph (f), as read with section 104, subsection (i) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe removed you, Priscah Mupfumira from the office of Cabinet Minister and Minister of Government with immediate effect for conduct inappropriate for a Government minister.”
President Mnangagwa on July 30 appointed Industry and Commence Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu as Acting Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, a move that was designed to allow Mupfumira some time to battle her corruption allegations in court.
On the other hand, the public called for Mupfumira’s sacking.
The latest development makes a huge statement about President Mnangagwa’s ruthlessness in dealing with allegations of corruption as he has been preaching zero-tolerance towards corruption in the Second Republic.
Mupfumira remains locked up after the State invoked Section 32 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act on July 27, which allows it to seek the further detention of a suspect up to 21 days to conduct further investigations.
Chief prosecutor Mr Michael Reza presented a certificate from the Prosecutor-General’s Office to detain Mupfumira for three more weeks on the grounds that she could use her position as minister to interfere with investigations.
She was arrested by ZACC on July 25 upon her return from the United Kingdom where she had travelled, together with senior Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) officials, to market the country as a safe tourist destination.