The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) says it is investigating widespread corruption in government contained in the country’s Auditor General’s report released recently, a day after the arrest of Environment Minister Prisca Mupfumira, who is being linked to a scandal at the National Social Security Authority (NSSA)which mysteriously lost more than $95 million.
This come at a time when a senior official in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Thokozani Khupe is calling for the arrest of an unidentified official said to have received “a cut” in another alleged shady bank deal in which the state lost millions of dollars.
According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda Moyo, said the commission has received the Auditor General’s report and investigations are in progress, together with hundreds of other cases, some involving top state officials.
The newspaper reported that Justice Matanda-Moyo indicated that the AG’s report creates the basis for investigations into corruption, theft, misappropriation of funds, abuse of power and or any other improper conduct committed in the public sector.
The Auditor General uncovered widespread corruption in the government and quasi-state entities involving some senior officials and workers.
In the meantime, Mupfumira is expected to appear in court to face charges of corruption and misuse of state funds.
While Mupfumira is facing these charges, social media is on fire following a tweet by Obert Gutu, vice president of the Khupe-led MDC, who claims that a top official in the government of national unity, which was formed in 2009 and ended in 2013, misused public funds.
His tweet posted on Wednesday reads, “Millions of public funds in US dollars disappeared in the now collapsed Interfin Bank Limited as a direct result of the fraudulent activities of some corrupt but loud-mouthed MDC Cabinet Ministers during the GNU era. This is NOT fiction. It's a FACT. ZACC is investigating.”
Gutu followed up the tweet the following day by posting another message on Thursday, in which he claimed that the unidentified person who was a cabinet minister got “a cut” from the Interfin deal. “Millions of public funds in US$ were fraudulently & recklessly channelled to Interfin Bank Limited by an MDC Cabinet Minister for a cut. This money was then 'lost' when Interfin collapsed. If this isn't corruption, then the word 'corruption' needs to be redefined.”
Gutu said ZACC has already been informed about the issue, the person involved and “he knows himself … Soon, the chickens will be coming home to roost.
The tweet attracted some opponents who called Gutu a sell-out allegedly embedded in the Zanu PF government. The first four to attack Gutu were Offensive Ncube, Allan Muchechetere, Grandma and Golden Muleya, who questioned the MDC-T vice president’s integrity while indicating that focus should be on the $15 billion that former president Robert Mugabe said it vanished from Marange diamond sales and other issues, including the NSSA scandal.
Ncube wrote on Twitter in response to Gutu’s message, “Corruption fighting in not scores settling…”
Grandma added, ““@GutuObert is after MDCA he once them down, fortunately he is not God. His hatred is too much. Shame
But Gutu shot back saying, “So, exposing corruption is your definition of ‘hatred’? Honestly you need salvation.
This may have angered Muleya who called Gutu a puppet of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
Gutu insisted that there is evidence in the so-called Interfin shady deal. “The paper trail is there. The relevant investigating authorities have got all the necessary information and documents.”
According to some sources in the MDC led by Nelson Chamisa, senior officials in the party are being targeted by ZACC following the arrest of the minister of environment. ZACC commissioners and some of the people allegedly implicated in the shady deals were not available for comment.
Interfin was put under curatorship after it recorded a real negative capital of $5,87 089 as at March 31, 2010.
The Deposit Protection Corporation accused the directors of the bank of failing to properly supervise and monitor the lending activities of the bank, which resulted in the granting of loans to related parties and/or customers without adequate security or in the exercise of normal and reasonable prudential banking practice.
One of the directors owed the bank over $136 million.