Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
ZANU-PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu has said the arrest of bigwigs, among them former Cabinet ministers, is in line with the ruling party’s resolutions to clamp down on all forms of graft and to strengthen the effectiveness of national mechanisms to prevent corruption.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently established a Special Anti-Corruption Unit housed in the Office of the President and Cabinet.
The unit’s terms of reference include collaborating with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and other such institutions in the fight against corruption, assist ZACC and other investigative agencies of the State in the perusal and consideration of corruption dockets, subject to the issuance of Authority to Prosecute by the Prosecutor General, to prosecute corruption cases referred to the National Prosecuting Authority by investigative agencies.
In an interview, Cde Mpofu said the ongoing arrests were not selective, adding that those allegedly involved in corruption should have their names cleared by the courts of law to prove their innocence.
“If one has committed a crime let the courts clear them. The arrests are not selective, but it is an issue where people find themselves being asked to account for their deeds or actions. I don’t think it is victimisation, but a way of trying to allow people to explain and clear themselves and there is nothing wrong,” he said.
“That is why we have courts and let those involved in criminal activities be cleared by the courts if they would not have done anything wrong depending on the evidence that they have. There is nothing wrong (with the arrests), it is just that people what to amplify negativity even on things that are meant to help clear the air.”
Cde Mpofu said the fight against corruption is an implementation of Zanu-PF resolutions.
“That is a resolution of the party and we are going to ensure that all resolutions are followed up and implemented. So we are not going to leave any of those resolutions that had been passed by the congresses. Even the President, in his statement at his inauguration, mentioned the issue of fighting corruption and we want to ensure that what we promised people is followed up right up to implementation,” he said.
Among the bigwigs arrested for corruption related crimes are controversial Harare businessman Wicknell Chivayo who is facing charges of allegedly defrauding the Zimbabwe Power Company of over $5 million, former ministers David Parirenyatwa (Health and Child Care), Samuel Undenge (Energy and Power Development) and Ignatius Chombo (Finance and Economic Development).
Parirenyatwa is the latest casualty following his arrest on a charge of criminal abuse of office after his actions allegedly resulted in the State losing $30 000 paid to two managing directors at the National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm).
According to court papers, Parirenyatwa on June 4, 2018 ordered NatPharm board chairman, Dr George Washaya, to terminate Flora Nancy Sifeku’s contract as managing director of the Government-owned company saying he required her services at his then Ministry.
Parirenyatwa further directed Dr Washaya to appoint Newman Madzikwa as the acting managing director of NatPharm with effect from June 1, 2018.
The board complied with the directive resulting in Sifeku and Madzikwa both being given six-month contracts with effect from June to November 30, 2018.
This resulted in NatPharm paying two salaries concurrently to Sifeku and Madzikwa for the managing director’s position, thereby prejudicing the company of $30 000.
Madzikwa was once employed by NatPharm as branch manager in Masvingo but dismissed on September 3, 2009 for allegedly selling donated drugs to private institutions.
Parirenyatwa is out of custody on $500 bail. — @mashnets