Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said Government will “ruthlessly” deal with individuals implicated in corrupt deals regardless of their status.
In an exclusive interview, VP Mnangagwa said media reports on corruption were disturbing and culprits should face justice.
“This country needs to fight corruption and this cancer should not be the responsibility of one institution. I think we need to psyche up the entire nation to fight corruption wherever it rears its head. From what we hear, what we gather and what is published in newspapers, it seems it has taken root and requires ruthlessness. It will be very hard but it’s necessary and good for the country,” he said.
The law, he said, was not selective and everyone implicated in corrupt deals would face the full wrath of the law.
However, VP Mnangagwa said there was need for thorough investigations to establish facts behind allegations.
He said all institutions that dealt with issues of corruption and the commission of crimes needed strengthening to enable them to execute their duties diligently.
“We don’t take allegations to court without evidence. It is necessary that where allegations are made the institutions that deal with investigations of this nature should be strengthened.”
The VP said he was still to witness the prosecution of people that have been investigated and identified by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.
“I haven’t seen many cases that have come to court as a result of investigations by the Anti-Corruption Commission. It was commissioned sometime this year. I think maybe it is too early to judge them but I believe they will do something about it. Something must be done. Citizens must be able to report any cases to the police and the police must do their duties diligently without fear or favour,” said VP Mnangagwa.
He said there was need for the commission to approach Government if they were facing any operational challenges.
“Wherever they think they have no power I am sure they must come to Government and in this area then its debated then we go to parliament.”
VP Mnangagwa said the investigation of criminal elements was the work of the Ministry of Home Affairs and not the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, that he oversees, or the Office of the President and Cabinet.
“The Ministry of Justice and the Office of the President do not investigate cases but that can be checked with the Ministry of Home Affairs especially on issues we read in newspapers.
“You can ask whether there is any truth in what is being said and what their view is about what is being said. Our view is that any cases of corruption must thoroughly be investigated. It doesn’t matter kuti ndiwe ani.”
Mayor to move into mansion
LOCAL Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere has given Kwekwe mayor, Matenda Madzoke, the greenlight to move into the mayoral mansion, nearly eight years after former executive mayor, Stanford Bonyongwa left the property.
Kasukuwere met Kwekwe councillors and management last Thursday and okayed Madzoke’s move.
“Council was worried that the mansion was not being utilised and, as a result, its value was going down. Management had turned it into a guest house, but councillors felt it should be occupied by the mayor and our minister said since it was built for the mayor, it should be used for that purpose,” Madzoke said, adding he would move in soon.
The mansion had become a centre of controversy following Bonyongwa’s exit, with councillors divided on what should be done with the house.
Attempts by councillors to move Madzoke into the mansion had been thwarted during a full council meeting in July, where management, led by chamber secretary, Lucia Mkandla, said a ministerial directive prohibited that.
“It (mayoral mansion) was once discussed as an item, where advice was given that there was a ministerial circular with a clear position on these houses.
“She added that this property was like any other council house except that it was executive accommodation,” read part of minutes of the council meeting.
Kasukuwere said the house should not be turned into a guest house because that would affect its value.
VP Mnangagwa to address ICIZ conference
VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to deliver a keynote address at the Zimbabwe anti-bribery and anti-corruption conference to be held tomorrow and Friday. The workshop will be hosted by the Internal Control Institute of Zimbabwe.
The ICIZ said corruption now posed the biggest threat to the country’s ability to implement the economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio-Economic Transformation.
“Corruption and bribery directly affect ZimAsset as the cost of business is inflated, hence the need to clean the rot in all sectors of the economy,” said the ICIZ.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo and Reserve Bank governor Dr John Mangudya are expected to attend.
Speakers from the private sector will include Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe Mr Matts Kunaka, executive director at Transparency International Ms Mary-Jane Ncube and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Mr Chris Mugaga.
The conference come against the backdrop of the formation of a unit by the Government through the National Prosecuting Authority to prosecute money laundering offences.
This also follows the recent statement by Minister Chinamasa that corruption in both public and private sectors had reached alarming proportions and was stifling growth, revenue mobilisation efforts as well as scaring away potential foreign investors.
Minister Chinamasa said given the resource constraints in the economy and losses through corruption and mismanagement, it was necessary that more effort be applied to establish robust systems and enforcing rules, regulations and procedures.
No salary cuts, bonuses to stay •Allowances to remain intact •Chinamasa proposals shot down
Government has reassured civil servants that they will receive their traditional annual bonuses and there will be no reduction of their salaries and allowances as announced by Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa last Thursday.Government’s response was triggered by Minister Chinamasa’s announcement, while presenting the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review statement, that civil servants’ bonuses would be suspended for two years, while their salaries and allowances would be reduced as part of measures to bring the economy back on track.
However, Government yesterday said Cabinet had rejected the proposals when Minister Chinamasa presented them on July 12 this year and they should not have been factored into the statement.
In a statement yesterday, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Christopher Mushohwe said it had become necessary to clarify Government’s position in view of genuine concerns within the civil service on their conditions of service and job security and on farmers in respect of agricultural pricing for the 2016-2017 maize crop.
In his statement, Minister Chinamasa proposed a reduction in salaries and allowances for civil servants, suspension of bonuses, taxation of allowances for civil servants, the introduction of vehicle loan schemes from director grade going downwards and import parity pricing for maize for the 2016-17 season among other measures.
However, said Dr Mushohwe: “For the record, the above proposals were tabled before Cabinet by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development on July 12, 2016 as part of cost-cutting measures to facilitate economic recovery.
“After extensive deliberations, cost-cutting measures relating to the civil service were rejected and the position of Cabinet is that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development did not take into account the rejection by Cabinet earlier on. Once again, at the last Cabinet of 12 September, 2016 the proposals were rejected.
“The President and Cabinet want to assure the civil servants, the farmers and the public at large that these proposed measures are not friendly operative. It is hoped that this clarification puts to rest anxieties that may have arisen within civil service, the farming community and the public at large.”
In the statement presented in Parliament, Minister Chinamasa said, Government had embarked on a civil service restructuring exercise, which included a reduction in employment numbers adding that it would also rationalise the number of embassies and consulates, review class travel arrangements of all officials including ministers, parliamentarians, independent commissions and authorities and State enterprises’ officials and a reduction in foreign allowances.
The measures were expected to reduce employment costs to around 60 percent of total revenues by 2019 from the current 97 percent and ultimately redirect revenue towards capital expenditure, which was expected to stimulate production.
Minister Chinamasa said fiscal space remained tight as revenues consistently underperformed while expenditures continued to outstrip targets. He said Government would continue with rationalisation and realignment measures already approved by Cabinet, which would reduce the baseline public employment costs by around $118 million by end of 2016.
Already some of the key Wage Bill Rationalisation Measures have since been implemented, and are already yielding monthly savings of around $6,5 million, effective January 1 2016, he argued.
Minister Chinamasa said to reinforce the measures while creating scope for financing drought, debt service and other capital and operations programmes, Government would reduce salaries and allowances by 5 and 20 percent starting with deputy directors to ministers effective October 2016.
Mugabe, Mujuru, Tsvangirai to miss crisis indaba
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and two opposition leaders, Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and Joice Mujuru (Zimbabwe People First), are likely to miss Thursday’s proposed all-parties consultative meeting to debate the current national crisis and modalities of setting up the national transitional authority, amid indications the three politicians had other commitments.
The crunch indaba, organised by the Platform of Concerned Citizens (PCC), is scheduled to be held at Sapes Trust in Harare on Thursday.
Organisers of the meeting, Ibbo Mandaza and Tony Reeler, told NewsDay yesterday they had invited all political party leaders and civil society groups.
“Protocol dictates that we deal with parties and that is what we have done. I have been talking to (Zanu PF political commissar) Saviour Kasukuwere and he is yet to come back to us with a response,” Mandaza said.
“We have, however, received confirmation from (People’s Democtratic Party leader, Tendai) Biti, (Zapu leader, Dumiso) Dabengwa and (Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader, Simba) Makoni so far. Most of the opposition parties and civil society are on board. Even Tajamuka/Sesijikile leader, Promise Mkwananzi is likely to attend, that is if he gets bail in time.”
Kasukuwere was not available for comment yesterday, while ZimPF spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire said Mujuru was yet to make a decision.
“We have just received the invitation and have not made a decision yet. We have a rally in South Africa at the weekend and I am not sure if she would have travelled or would still be around on Thursday,” he said.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, said his boss was not likely to attend, as he would be undergoing chemotherapy treatment in South Africa.
“The president (Tsvangirai), unfortunately, will be receiving treatment at the same time, so he will not be attending. I am not sure though if he will assign someone to represent him,” he said.
Mandaza said the meeting seeks to canvass for Zimbabweans’ buy-in of the proposed national transitional authority.
“Our idea is to discuss the national crisis and propose the idea of a national transitional authority, not as a solution, but as an option that could be modified with input from all stakeholders,” he said.
The Harare indaba will be followed by a regional conference set for Johannesburg, South Africa, on September 27, to solicit for input from the Diaspora, the region and international community.