By Leopold Munhende
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu PF party was at a loss of words following the shock arrest of Tourism Minister Priscah Mupfumira early Thursday, with spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo professing ignorance on the issue.
Across the political divide, the MDC challenged the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo to “investigate and arrest” her husband Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo.
Contacted for comment following Mupfumira’s arrest reportedly in connection with the stinking National Social Security Authority (Nssa) forensic audit report, Khaya-Moyo claimed he was hearing it for the first time from NewZimbabwe.com some 10 hours after news broke.
“Is that so? She has been arrested? I am hearing it for the first time from you. I can only comment once I have full details on the issue,” said Khaya-Moyo.
Quizzed on whether Zanu PF was in support of Zacc’s move as a matter of policy Khaya-Moyo dithered.
“That’s why I said I can only comment once I have full details. I can’t say anything now,” the Zanu PF spokesperson said.
MDC deputy spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka poured cold water describing the arrest as a non-event.
“The real corrupt barons remain free in government, that US$3 billion recently went missing is a case in point and no one has been arrested.
“These people in Zanu PF cannot treat corruption. It is like sending a mosquito to cure malaria. Mnangagwa is named in a top UN report for having looted diamonds in the DRC, also named are SB and Sydney Sekeramayi,” said Tamborinyoka.
“Moyo was actually director general of COSLEG a company which they used in DRC and now it is his wife chairing Zacc. If Matanda-Moyo is sincere then the dragnet is sure to end up in her own matrimonial bed.”
COSLEG, was a joint venture of Congo Comiex and the Zimbabwe Defence Forces’ Operation Sovereign Legitimacy formed by Zimbabwe’s army and those linked to it in the late 1990s to pursue timber and minerals interests in DRC’s Katanga Province.
Zimbabwe had been invited into the DRC by the late President Laurent Kabila who wanted help to stave off an insurrection. Kabila was to be killed by his own bodyguard, paving the way for his son Joseph to take over power.
A 2002 United Nations (UN) report implicates the company in massive plunder of DRC diamonds.
Added Tamborinyoka: “It is our belief that cancer in the country, we shed no tear for anyone arrested.”
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) President Peter Mutasa said that there was no way Zacc could arrest Mupfumira leaving others at Nssa and within government as she could not have been working alone.
“She cannot be arrested alone. She could not have been doing this corruption alone at Nssa or anywhere else. Remember this is this same person who refused to accept my name after being seconded twice to sit on the Nssa board.
“We need to see more arrests and convictions instead of just arresting people then releasing them or dismissing their cases under unclear circumstances such as the Wicknell Chivhayo case,” said Mutasa.
“The courts and all other arms must show that they are independent and that must reflect in their operations.”
Mutasa further questioned why Public Service Minister Sekai Nzenza was refusing to make public the Nssa forensic audit report.
“Minister Nzenza must now make public the Nssa forensic audit report, failure to do so risks painting this whole thing as some Zanu PF factional battle.
“We want the Nssa forensic audit report to be made public. Why is she hesitating? The Hwange and ZESA ones too” Mutasa queried.
Zimbabwe is struggling to deal with the scourge of corruption which has seen government leaking more than a billion US dollars each year.
Former Ministers Ignatius Chombo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Supa Mandiwanzira, Walter Mzembi, Walter Chidhakwa and Samuel Undenge have all been arrested on charges of corruption and abuse of office.
Except for Undenge who was found guilty and convicted of a lesser offence involving $12 000 – later released on bail – none of the ministers has been convicted yet.