Zimbabwe’s anti-corruption agency said Thursday it had detained Environment and Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira, the first high-profile arrest since it was overhauled by President Emmerson Mnangagwa this month.
According to state-owned daily, The Herald, the minister is being held over the alleged disappearance of millions of dollars at the country’s pension fund when she was social welfare minister.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) said in a tweet:
“We can confirm that the Minister of Tourism is currently in our custody for questioning and possible due processes”.
Mupfumira was fired as social welfare minister by ex-president Robert Mugabe weeks before a military-led coup that toppled the long-time ruler in November 2017.
She was re-appointed after the coup, in a new portfolio.
Mupfumira is the first sitting minister of the ruling ZANU-PF party to be arrested for graft under Mnangagwa’s new administration.
The ZACC was created during the Mugabe era but was criticised for being ineffective. Mnangagwa appointed a new team on July 15.
Critics had expressed doubts over the new commission because it was led by High Court Judge Loice Matanda-Moyo, the wife of army general Sibusiso Moyo who was involved in the coup that ousted Mugabe and is now foreign minister.
Manangagwa has identified endemic corruption as a major contributor to the country’s economic woes and vowed to root it out.