MP nabbed over cooking oil

A lawmaker in Zimbabwe's ruling party has been arrested after handing himself over to the police investigating the sale of 10000litres of cooking oil on the black market, a weekend report said .

A lawmaker in Zimbabwe's ruling party has been arrested after handing himself over to the police investigating the sale of 10000litres of cooking oil on the black market, a weekend report said .

The state-run Herald said police arrested Zanu-PF lawmaker, Zacharia Ziyambi, of Kadoma West, in connection with the sale of the cooking oil consignment.

It added authorities were also keen to question a senator, Chiratidzo Gava.

"Ziyambi is still in police custody and investigations are continuing," police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka said.

"Our specific interest is to critically examine and establish the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of 10000litres of cooking oil from Grafax Cotton," he added.

Ziyambi and Gava are alleged to have signed a letter to acquire the cooking oil from Grafax Cotton purportedly for the benefit of their constituents.

Mandipaka said police impounded the cooking oil as it was being off-loaded in drums from a Nissan truck near a furniture shop.

In June, President Robert Mugabe's government ordered a blanket freeze on the prices of all goods and services, previously limited to essential products, saying prices could only be raised with government approval.

Zimbabwe, reeling under hyperinflation, is critically short of essential items such as wheat, fuel, cooking oil and sugar.

In July, a senator from the ruling party and thousands of business people were arrested for flouting a government-imposed ceiling on basic commodity prices.

Mugabe's government introduced price controls five years ago to fight a burgeoning black market in staples such as cooking oil. - Sapa-AFP

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