By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emerson Mnangagwa should fire deputy finance minister Terrence Mukupe, the country’s main labour union has said warning that the junior treasury chief has proved to be unfit for government service.
The call by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) comes after the government was forced to distance itself from remarks by Mukupe who claimed that the military would not allow the opposition to takeover it wins elections due in July.
“Although the government and ruling party Zanu PF tried to do damage control by distancing themselves from Mukupe’s utterances, we believe this is not enough,” the union said in a statement.
“If Mukupe is not fired, we are bound to believe that his sentiments run through the ruling party and their denials are just smokescreens.”
Controversy appears to have become second nature to Mukume lately.
The deputy minister was recently arrested and fined for assaulting a civil servant who allegedly gave him a “paltry $910 travel allowance”.
“Fighting at the workplace is a serious and dismissible offence, but the minister went scot free,” said the ZCTU.
Mukupe was also fingered in a fuel scam involving four fuel tankers that entered the country purportedly in transit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose contents were emptied in Chitungwiza and replaced with water, prejudicing the State of $55,650.
In addition, a local company, recently approached the High Court seeking Mukupe’s incarceration after he had failed to pay $15,000 for various crop seeds supplied to him in December 2013.
The same senior government official was also taken to court by a Chinese construction company over a $28,000 debt.
“Surely, how can the country entrust such a tainted person with the finance Ministry when he cannot put his house in order,” ZCTU said.
Mukupe has also defended corrupt government officials, saying they should not be arrested if they were “competent”.
“We also note with concern his recent utterances that corruption was good for the country at a time when everyone is fighting this scourge,” lamented the labour union.
“We call upon President Emerson Mnangagwa to immediately relieve Mukupe of his duties before he causes further irreparable damage to the country’s reputation,” said ZCTU.