Anti-Corruption Body Under Fire, Security Threat To Parastatal Shady Dealings

Anti-Corruption Body Under Fire, Security Threat To Parastatal Shady Dealings
Published: 2016 June 08 05:56:32 (10166 Views)
Permanent secretaries yesterday expressed outrage over the conduct of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to ambush them and accuse them of alleged crimes committed by officials in parastatals and state-owned enterprises under their purview.

Some of the affidavits, signed by chief investigations officer Mr Servious Kufandada, cited the permanent secretaries as accused persons even when most of the cases said to be under investigation belong to their respective parastatals.

It emerged yesterday that while ZACC officials rushed to the media to inform them of all the “investigations” they were carrying out, the investigators were yet to visit some of those entities.

Permanent secretaries said to have been issued with search and seizure warrants include Ambassador Grace Mutandiro (Lands and Resettlement), Munesu Munodawafa (Transport and Infrastructure Development), Engineer George Mlilo (Local Government, Public Works and National Housing), Willard Manungo (Finance and Economic Development), Evelyn Ndlovu (Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development) and Dr Sam Kundishora (Information, Communication Technology and Courier Services).

Government, through the secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba, has rapped ZACC officials for impugning Government systems in their efforts to probe the alleged crimes.

The alleged crimes range from fraud to disregard of tender procedures.

Munodawafa yesterday said while they had co-operated with ZACC officials who visited the ministry offices, their approach was “antagonising”.

ZACC is seeking evidence with regards to payments done from the Number Plate Fund since 2009.

Said Munodawafa: “They are looking for information starting from 2009, but the impression created is that I am the person involved. What is worrisome is that while to them I appear as an accused person, I joined this ministry in July 2012. They came yesterday (Monday) but I am told they came on Friday and there was nobody senior in the ministry. They refused to talk to the acting secretary, which leaves a lot of questions. We gave them access to the Fund which they are looking for.”

Ambassador Mutandiro said she joined the Lands and Rural Resettlement Ministry last year and was disturbed to read in the papers that she was under probe in a matter that began more than two decades ago.

Dr Kundishora said five ZACC officials had ambushed him yet the matter they intended to investigate had nothing to do with him.

“They came, but their approach is not good at all,” he said.

“Their approach gave us an impression that they knew something already and wanted to ambush us. The way it is being done is not good, and after all, on the issues they wanted to ask me, I am not the central point on them. They should have approached those parastatals before coming here to seek my opinion. It’s good to investigate corruption but the approach has to be civil.”

Said Eng Mlilo: “I don’t know what they are talking about. No one came to my ministry and I actually want to sue them because I am disturbed by this. These are accusations, which do not say where we went wrong. You can’t just soil my name like that.”

The timing of the probe has also been questioned as the leading ZACC investigating officer Mr Kufandada has a tainted past as he stands accused of working with opposition political parties during the run up to the 2013 elections.

It is also believed that the anti-corruption officials are being pushed by some politicians to cause chaos in Government.

- Herald

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