Zanu PF’s supreme decision-making body, the politburo, on Friday called on the government to take decisive action against senior executives at parastatals and related state entities involved in corrupt activities.
President Robert Mugabe called the extra-ordinary politburo meeting to discuss corruption in the country following revelations that senior managers at the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS), the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and others were paying themselves hefty salaries and allowances at the expense of service delivery and lowly-paid employees.
Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo told VOA President Robert Mugabe said there should be no sacred cows, adding the anti-corruption fight should be widened to include the private sector with others saying the NGO sector should also be probed.
President Mugabe has long been criticized for his failure to deal with graft with many saying his party has been a beneficiary of corruption at state entities. But Gumbo dismissed the claim Friday saying his boss is bent on fighting corruption which he says has become a menace in the country.
“We discussed a number of issues, chief among them salary-gate and corruption in the country,” said Gumbo.
“The President was very strong on that. Some of what we have heard was happening is absurd to say the least and the president said all facts should be established so people can be brought to book. He said decisive action should be taken to prevent corruption from becoming endemic in our society. We have to prevent corruption.”
Gumbo said no specific cases of alleged corruption were discussed at the extra-ordinary politburo meeting. He said the meeting focused on graft in general and how it is affecting ordinary people.
Among state entities that could have lost millions to graft is national carrier Air Zimbabwe where three senior executives have been arrested on fraud allegations that could have prejudiced the national airline of millions of dollars. At PSMAS top managers paid themselves close to a million dollars monthly in salaries at the expense of service delivery.
Investigations have also been instituted at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation where top managers earned huge salaries also at the expense of service delivery.
Gumbo said the politburo also discussed the leaders’ wrangles in Zanu PF’s Midlands province with the politburo endorsing the Jaison Machaya as chairman. He beat Larry Mavhima in elections that were disputed in a fight many say is about succession politics in Zanu PF.
Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo briefed the politburo meeting on the flood situation in the country. He revealed he has approached a number of foreign missions and United Nations agencies for assistance, adding food donations and medicines had been received with the Namibian government providing two helicopters to help airlift affected families.
Environment Water and Climate Minister also briefed the meeting on the Tokwe-Mukosi floods.