Daniel Nemukuyu, Harare Bureau
THE recently constituted Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) yesterday hit the ground running, arresting Environment, Tourism and Hospital Industry Minister, Prisca Mupfumira, on corruption allegations involving $95 million.
ZACC, which recently got arresting powers, walked the talk on the arrest of bigwigs with Minister Mupfumira being the first big catch.
ZACC chairperson, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, confirmed the arrest saying the Minister is expected to appear in court today.
“She is still with us and she is expected to appear in court tomorrow. She is facing corruption charges involving $95 million. Some of the offences emanate from the NSSA audit while she allegedly committed other crimes at her current ministry (Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry),” said Justice Matanda Moyo.
The Minister spent the whole day in the hands of ZACC investigators and she will appear in court from holding cells.
She is the first senior government official to be arrested by the commission which was overhauled by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on July 15.
Minister Mupfumira was recently named by the Zanu-PF Youth League in a list of political and business persons who were sabotaging the economy through acts of corruption.
Recently, President Mnangagwa appointed a 12-member commission chaired by Justice Matanda-Moyo, which he gave powers to arrest.
The President has shown confidence in the new ZACC through publicly warning the masses that the newly-found teeth would soon bite all the corrupt.
Justice Matanda-Moyo last week vowed to fight corruption indicating that a number of bigwigs were already under investigation.
She said ZACC was investigating over 200 cases of corruption-related crimes emanating from a varied spectrum of the economy adding that arrests would be effected.
Justice Matanda-Moyo said her commission was on a mission to aggressively fight corruption and was different from previous bodies given that it was now headed by a judicial officer.
In her maiden media address, Justice Matanda-Moyo said ZACC had received the latest Auditor-General’s (AG) report and investigations had already commenced in respect of all ministries, parastatals and State entities implicated in corruption and misappropriation of funds.
Justice Matanda-Moyo said the AG’s report creates the basis for investigations into corruption, theft, misappropriation of funds, abuse of power and or any other improper conduct committed in the public sector.
She said a number of high profile cases were already being investigated.
Millions of dollars went missing from NSSA when Mupfumira was Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
More funds were reportedly lost when she was now Minister of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry.