Zimbabwe’s anti-corruption authority on Thursday detained Tourism minister Priscah Mupfumira over graft allegations, becoming the first high-profile arrest since the commission was reconstituted.
“The minister of Tourism has been taken in; the process is happening now and the commission will be able to make a statement soon,” Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) said in a brief statement.
When she was arrested, Ms Mupfumira had just returned home after spending weeks in the United Kingdom where she and three other ministers went to watch the Netball World Cup. Zimbabwe was one the three African teams at the tournament alongside South Africa, Malawi and Uganda.
On Monday, Public Service Minister Sekai Nzenza told Parliament that expert lawyers were scrutinising the findings of a forensic audit of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) before they are made public.
Ms Mupfumira was the Social Welfare Minister when the alleged looting of the pension fund occured.
Opposition legislators accuse the government of trying to sweep the findings under the rug because they implicate a number of ruling Zanu PF officials in the alleged looting of NSSA.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from long time ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017, has vowed to push a ruthless anti-corruption campaign.
In January he forced ZACC commissioners to resign saying he had no confidence in them being the best people to lead the fight against corruption.
President Mnangagwa last week swore in new commissioners, a month after appointing a top judge to head the ZACC secretariat.
He said he had given the new commission “the necessary teeth”, including arresting powers.