WASHINGTON DC —
President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party spoke for the first time Tuesday about on-going graft revelations showing senior managers at most government enterprises have been gobbling millions of dollars in hefty salaries and allowances at the expense of service delivery and lowly-paid employees.
In a statement coming hard-on-the-heels of remarks by Vice President Joice Mujuru at the weekend attacking the media's role as the fourth estate in exposing corruption in the country, Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said his party has a zero tolerance approach to corruption, adding this is why graft was an election issue for Zanu PF in 2013.
But the MDC-T formation quickly responded saying Zanu PF is the reason corruption is flourishing in the country.
Zanu PF, said Gumbo, condemns “in the strongest possible terms this unacceptable and selfish state of affairs and wish to urge the office of the president to continue to act in the national interest.”
Following the backlash on statements attributed to Mrs. Mujuru condemning the media’s role in the unraveling salary-gate scandal, Gumbo thanked both the private and independent media for their efforts in bringing what he described as a shameful situation to public light.
He added Zanu PF, blamed by most Zimbabweans for allowing graft to fester in the country over the years, will take decisive measures to eradicate corruption in all its forms.
"For our part, and for the avoidance of any doubt, we wish to make it known that we will take decisive measures to eradicate corruption in all its forms," the Zanu PF spokesman said. "Those involved in corrupt activities must and will face the full wrath of the law and we are determined to make this a reality."
“We wish, in the circumstances, to urge all government ministries to continue to act in the spirit of Zim Asset, and in the national interest, by carrying out extensive audits in their respective ministries as we believe it will lead to public accountability and instill confidence in the use of public funds,” said Gumbo.
“In the same vein the party believes that complex and intricate issues like corruption staring at our faces cannot be resolved in a piece-meal, haphazard and simplistic manner,” he said. “The party needs a comprehensive plan and policy to deal with this menace. Everything must be done above board in an orderly, organized and systematic way to prevent possible accusation of a cover-up.”
Gumbo said those involved in corrupt activities must and will face the full wrath of the law, adding Zanu PF was determined to make this a reality.
Responding, the MDC formation of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Zimbabweans should not be hoodwinked by Zanu PF to think the party is serious about dealing with corruption in the country.
Mwonzora said Vice President Mujuru should resign following her weekend remarks over graft where she insinuated those rushing to leak graft allegations to the media want to destroy Zanu PF from within and derail government programs.
"For many years Zanu PF has been saying that the reason why Zimbabwe is in this economic quagmire is sanctions yet the greatest problem in Zimbabwe is the problem of corruption," said Mwonzora. "That is why we are saying Mrs. Mujuru should resign following her statements at the weekend".