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Zimbabwe Attorney General Halts Corruption Probe of Top Gov't Officials


Commissioners want President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to intervene following Attorney General Johannes Tomana’s move to stop the anti-graft body from arresting lawmakers it says converted constituency development fund allocations to their own use

Zimbabwean leaders are expected to intervene and break an impasse between the Attorney General’s Office and the Anti Corruption Commission over investigations into the abuse of development funds.

Commissioners want President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to intervene following Attorney General Johannes Tomana’s move to stop the anti-graft body from arresting lawmakers it says converted constituency development fund allocations to their own use.

Sources say Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai had given their support to the commission to arrest legislators who abused the US$50,000 meant to help develop their constituencies.

But Tomana halted the process, accusing the commission of rushing to arrest the lawmakers before carrying out thorough investigations.

He claimed the Anti Corruption Commission was “clumsy” and had congested his office with piecemeal evidence of arrests based on information gathered through newspapers or individuals.

But the commission has vowed to press ahead with its work, regardless.

Four lawmakers from all political formations in the unity government have so far been arrested and sources say the focus has now shifted to a number of Mr. Mugabe's former ruling ZANU-PF ministers leading the call for investigations into the abuse of the funds to be stopped.

ZANU-PF sources told VOA the intended arrest of its senior officials is meant scuttle the party’s campaign agenda.

Mr. Mugabe's party is said to be preparing an elections dossier targeting MDC lawmakers and councilors for alleged corruption.

Tomana told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that he will not prosecute lawmakers on “flimsy allegations”.

But chairman Stanford Chirindo of the Anti Corruption Commission says their investigations will continue.

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