Mashudu Netsianda Bulawayo Bureau—
Vice President Kembo Mohadi has said the ongoing crusade against corruption is not a witch-hunt against members of the G40 cabal. VP Mohadi said authorities were targeting all criminal elements regardless of their political affiliation. His comments come in the wake of recent remarks by the opposition MDC-T party’s secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora claiming the arrests and prosecutions of former Finance and Economic Development Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo and former Zanu-PF Youth League leaders Messrs Kudzanai Chipanga and Innocent Hamandishe “were seemingly selective application of the law”.
The three, who have since appeared in court, are reportedly aligned to the G40 faction, whose kingpin, former Higher and Tertiary Education, Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, is in self-imposed exile at an unknown location.
Members of the G40 cabal were last year in November expelled from the ruling Zanu-PF after they allegedly created a constitutional crisis in the country, taking advantage of their proximity to the then First Family through former First Lady, Mrs Grace Mugabe.
Prof Moyo is accused of siphoning more than $400 000 from a State-owned enterprise, the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund. In an interview with Chronicle yesterday, VP Mohadi dismissed claims of selective application of the law as “nonsensical” and unfounded.
“It doesn’t work that way. We are targeting everyone who is a criminal and corrupt and those who are claiming that we are only targeting a certain group of individuals are talking nonsense and their claims are baseless and unfounded. We have courts where the issue of guilt or innocence will be proven,” he said.
“Whatever critics are saying is sheer waste of time as we are forging ahead in the fight against corruption until sanity is restored in all sectors of the economy in line with the Government’s thrust in the new dispensation.” President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said his administration is committed to rooting out corruption across all socio-economic sectors.
He has also warned those implicated in corruption and the looting of State resources to confess and to voluntarily surrender their ill-gotten loot. The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is reportedly investigating a number of senior politicians since the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe last November.
Days after his inauguration, President Mnangagwa, as part of his efforts to clean-up and resuscitate the economy, announced a three-month amnesty to allow those, who externalised funds to return them with no questions being asked. They were given up to the end of this month, after which the law will take its course.
The President said his administration was aware of the individuals and companies who had externalised funds. It is believed that President Mnangagwa’s call for the return of externalised funds has been heeded and there are reports that substantial amounts have since been returned.
Last month, Government directed ministers, their deputies, permanent secretaries, senior principal directors, board chairpersons and board members of State enterprises and parastatals, and chief executive officers of State enterprises to declare their assets by not later than February 28.
This is in line with the fundamental tenets of good corporate governance. Also expected to declare their assets are chairpersons and members of constitutional commissions (both executive and independent) and chief executive officers of local authorities. The officials are expected to submit a written declaration of their assets by the said date.