Pay scandal rocks anti-graft body

Mr Denford Chirindo

Mr Denford Chirindo

Takunda Maodza Assistant News Editor
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission commissioners are still drawing salaries and hiring vehicles from the CMED for use despite being out of contract since August last year when their tenure expired, prejudicing Treasury of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Of the ZACC commissioners, only chairperson Mr Denford Chirindo’s term subsists.
Ms Teresa Mugadza, Dr Elita Sakupwanya, Mr Emmanuel Chimwanda, Mr Lakayana Dube, Dr Goodwill Shana and Mr Shepherd Gwasira’s terms expired on August 31 last year, and they have been in limbo for close to six months while drawing salaries and benefits for doing nothing.

By mid-December last year, the commission owed CMED US$456 848.85 for the hired vehicles.
President Mugabe appointed the Anti-Corruption Commission on September 1, 2011 to stem corruption in the country.

The commission had a statutory two-year term of office which expired on August 31 last year after which the commissioners’ salaries were stopped by the Salary Services Bureau.

Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Melusi Matshiya, however, directed the SSB to continue paying the six commissioners their salaries even though their contracts had expired, which salaries they drew up to January this year.

By commission and/or omission, Mr Matshiya is in possible violation of Section 174 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) [Chapter 9:23] that spells out that it is criminal abuse of duty as public officer (1) If a public officer, in the exercise of his duty or her functions as such, intentionally — (a) does anything that is contrary to or inconsistent with his or her duty as a public officer; or (b) omits to do anything which it is his or her duty as a public officer to do; for the purpose of showing favour or disfavour to any person, he or she shall be guilty of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer and liable to a fine not exceeding level thirteen or imprisonment for period not exceeding fifteen years or both.

Earlier this week, Mr Chirindo wrote to Mr Matshiya seeking clarity on the matter and warning that it was not in the public interest for Treasury to incur costs for no service as the commissioners were out of contract.

Reads the letter dated February 25, 2014: “Mr Secretary Sir, the Salary Services Bureau (SSB) ceased the salaries of the six commissioners on 31 August 2013 which marked the end of their contracts of employment with the Government of Zimbabwe. Sir, commissioners have not been doing commission work in anticipation of communication from you on their legal status or terminal benefits.

“Mr Secretary Sir, from 01 September 2013 to date, the six commissioners have been and are driving CMED hired vehicles on charge to the commission’s operations vote in anticipation of guidance from your office on their legal status or communication on their terminal benefits pursuant to their expired contracts of employment.”

In December last year, Mr Chirindo wrote to Mr Matshiya appraising him of the ballooning CMED vehicle hire costs.
“Mr Secretary Sir, you will recall the chairperson’s letter dated 13 December 2013 advising that the CMED vehicles hire costs had reached US$456 848.85 and CMED had threatened to switch off the vehicles on hire to commissioners. The secretary will also recall his immediate and prompt efforts to secure US$347 000.00 from Treasury at the end of December 2013 and instructing the commission to pay CMED.

“Please note that this happened at a time the commission had no fuel for operations or for staff to move from point A to point B and staff were working half a day because the commission had no money to purchase a borehole pump and commission toilets were dysfunctional,” he said.

Added Mr Chirindo: “The Secretary may want to know that the CMED vehicle hire and maintenance costs for vehicles being driven by commissioners who are waiting to be advised by yourself Sir on their legal status or terminal benefits currently stands at US$184 447.83 as at February 2014.”

He warned Mr Matshiya such behaviour was tantamount to sleeping on duty.
“Mr Secretary Sir, the omission by the ministry to advise the six commissioners on their legal status or terminal benefits whichever comes first may be construed as a care free attitude towards public funds and this is very expensive to the public purse in light of the prevailing harsh economic environment. The omission is not in the interests of the public and requires urgent corrective measures in compliance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, the Public Finance Management Act and Treasury Instructions,” Mr Chirindo said.

Mr Matshiya actually directed the SSB to pay the commissioners their salaries even though their contracts had expired.
“The commission acknowledges receipt of six letters from your office to the director SSB in respect of each of the commissioners signed by your office directing director SSB to pay the six commissioners their salaries with effect from 01 September 2013 to 31 January 2014. We implore on you Sir to urgently take corrective measures to address the situation where commissioners whose term of office expired on 31 August 2013, are not doing commission work, are driving CMED hired vehicles and the hire charges are drawn from the commission’s operation vote, their salaries have been reinstated with effect from 01 September 2013 but still there is no communication from you Sir on their legal status or communication from you Sir stating that they should come back to the commission and work,” Mr Chirindo said.

He urged Mr Matshiya to exercise financial discipline.
“Mr Secretary Sir the public pronouncements which have been made loud and clear by the Hon Minister of Finance on the status of treasury requires a high level of financial discipline by all public officials who draw from the public purse to avoid irregular expenditure or a fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” Mr Chirindo said.

He urged Mr Matshiya to urgently address the situation and “avoid financial misconduct as defined by the Public Finance Management Act”

Contacted for comment, Mr Matshiya insisted the commissioners were entitled to the benefits as their terms of office were extended and took a swipe at Mr Chirindo.

“Why don’t you get Chirindo to answer all those issues since he is the boss there? He is the guy in charge of the commission. There is a letter extending the commissioners’ term of office and that is what Chirindo should explain to you.

‘’As far as we are concerned they are in office and they are entitled to any benefits a commissioner is entitled to. Their term of office ends this month and their packages are being worked out. The use of vehicles does not matter at all. I am aware that they were given money by treasury. Zvaarikutaura ndezvake izvo,” he charged.

Repeated efforts to get a comment from Mr Chirindo were fruitless with the anti-corruption boss not answering his mobile phone.

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  • Zim Analysit

    There will always be corruption either way the ones making sure there is no corruption might be corrupt therefore someone needs to keep an eye…


    Nauseating and repulsive… more arrests please!

  • Mutakah

    Mari yausina kushandira hairwadzwe kurasha.
    Hanzi izvo, “The use of vehicles does not matter at all.”
    The detached arrogance exhibited by our officials is exhausting. It costs money to operate a vehicle, more than the cost of “free fuel” subsidies.

    • Jotham

      You are right man!!!!!.

  • tinofungawo

    Saka kuita manufacture attack yaBiti so that people people will think of the so-called internal fight while turning attention from the rot happening around them

  • Chikonzi

    A little obvious misdirection here. What is of serious concern is ZACC’s Zero allocation of budget by Treasury and Government sleeping on the job by ignoring or deliberately refusing to renew ZACC’s mandate, so it can continue investigation into corrupt Ministers who are behind this strategy preventing ZACC from doing its legally appointed work.

    • makwavararama

      its like refusing food to the dog that bucks most during the night

  • Grace

    I was just wondering where the this guy got the money to build a house in Mt. Pleasant, put up green houses , drill boreholes, put up cottages and have a fleet of carss when he is just a mere civil servant. batai munhu.


    who does matsyiya think he is. he should not display such a level of arrogance when dealing with public funds. the responsible minister must deal with this arrogant shallow minded man who thinks he is above reproach

  • Mbada Murenje

    Some people are just becoming too powerful to the point where the public hesitate even to point at the dirty work they do…I don’t know if the instructions given to these commissions are clearly stated as to the level of officers to pin down and those not to interfere with.

    Tired of these greedy and corrupt activities. If things were in line, why is it that the Honorable Secretary went on to bypass the person responsible for the operations, went on to instruct S.S.B. to re-instate and such members on pay-sheet and then forgot to inform the supervisors to put members to their work place? He found interest in them getting paid and never in seeing the work done. One of these days ,some of these cases should be tried in public and justice derived and delivered by the public in public and without representation. These guys are stealing public funds and then use the same funds to defend themselves against the wrath of the law.

  • Sarudzai

    This Commission was a waste of money, they never exposed any corruption instead ndivo vaitoita Corruption yacho, Zimbabwe is a Joke when it comes to Corruption number 1 in the World.

    • logic

      Sending the equally corrupt to investigate the other corrupt. That is what happens when the country has been left to become a cesspool of corruption – no clean top officials to clean up this crumbling Great-house because if you want to rise to the top, you should have been willing to play the corrupt game. That is the summary of the state of Zimbabwe after 33 years.

  • Just saying

    If as suggested by the Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Melusi Matshiya that their contracts have been extended then what exactly have they done to earn their salaries??Alternatively one has to call into question the ethics of the six commissioners who continue to draw salaries & allowances knowing full well they are not doing anything to earn it. Someone is not being truthful & should be made to answer.

  • Truthfulness

    Very incompetent people in Zimbabwe I wonder where is our education?U can’t just have degrees and fail to use that knowledge on your day to day operations so sad and pathetic ..musatisvorese isu vakadzidza

  • inizvangu

    Cry the beloved country. Its like pigs on a feeding trough. These guys fear noone, in most cases they know dirty things about their respective ministers as well. Nothing will happen to the arrogant man Matshiya.

  • Mayor_Urimbo

    Please Mr President Mugabe pindirayi, vanhu venyu vanyanya………please.

  • hameno

    Iye Chirindo ari kuita basa rei kana commision pasisina.I smell a rat

  • Taneta Nemiimi

    pese pese Reverend Goodwill Shana !!!!!! which church does he lead ,I wonder how is their spirituality ?

  • Mimi

    Unbelieavable, is Elita Sakupwanya the lady who used to work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs some years ago? Kana ari iye now this is a circus because the lady was just known never to work. I think it is high time the President himself puts a stop to this hoolabaloo, what is really going on. How are these individuals appointed in the 1st place? So many questions, so few answers.

  • Jotham

    This is not a joke . The truth is -we are all corrupt. How can a corrupt person monitor another corrupt official the end result is that we have kickbacks every where.