By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
ZANU PF national political commissar, Victor Matemadanda has sprung to the defence of the President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the First Family describing Zimbabwe’s leader as a reformist, who ushered in an unprecedented open-door policy.
Matemadanda said Mnangagwa was different from former strongman, the late Robert Mugabe who was aloof and detached from the citizens.
Matemadanda, who is also the defence deputy minister, said criminals were taking advantage of Mnangagwa’s affable character and using their proximity to the First Family to commit crimes, including racketeering and corruption.
He was addressing Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial committee members in Chinhoyi Sunday.
The hard-talking Matemadanda labelled the suspended Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya a ‘criminal’ and accused her of name-dropping the First Family members’ identities in a bid to evade arrest and prosecution.
Rushwaya was arrested at Robert Mugabe International Airport last week while trying to smuggle 6kg of gold worth over US$300 000 to Dubai.
Following her arrest, state security agents assisting to smuggle the precious mineral implicated First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and her son Collins.
At least seven other suspects, including former Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative Gift Karanda, have been nabbed in connection with the foiled gold smuggling case.
Matemadanda also took pot-shots at Drax International’s Delish Nguwaya who has appeared in several photographs posted on social media hanging around with members of the First Family.
Nguwaya was arrested early this year on charges of using forged papers to secure a US$6 million government tender for the supply of Covid-19 medical equipment.
The ill-fated deal cost former health minister, Obadiah Moyo his job. Both are in court over the fraudulent deal.
“Don’t abuse the open-door policy by the President. Some use photographs that they would have been taken together with President Mnangagwa and go and commit crimes and engage in corruption. ED (Mnangagwa) is the people’s President let him do his job,” charged Matemadanda.
Matemadanda said the Second Republic under Mnangagwa’s rule had adopted zero tolerance towards graft as evidenced by several arrests of high-profile suspects by both the police and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zaac).
Secretary in the information Nick Mangwana also weighed-in Sunday and warned criminals against dragging the First Family’s name in their criminality for them to avoid arrest and prosecution.