ZANU PF has roped in the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and the police to probe corruption in its business empire as the succession debate hot
s up in the party.
The investigations follow an earlier internal inquiry whose findings were inconclusive but indicated that Zanu PF could have been prejudiced of billions of dollars through corrupt practices.
The investigations have widely been interpreted as targeting the ruling party’s legal affairs secretary, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is in the race with Vice-President Joice Mujuru to succeed President Mugabe.
Mnangagwa was in charge of the ruling party’s finances when the alleged graft took place.
In an interview yesterday, Zanu PF’s secretary for finance David Karimanzira said National Security minister Didymus Mutasa was chairing a committee looking into the matter in his capacity “as the party’s secretary for administration plus Minister of (State) Security”.
Karimanzira said he was part of Mutasa’s committee.
“We are working with his security ministry and the police anti-fraud squad. They have been questioning some people. Every week they come back to me for verification and I also tell them, go there, go there, since I worked on the first report,” Karimanzira said.
He said after the initial probe he had proposed that investigations should be widened and be done by “experts”.
Karimanzira said details on the involvement of the police and the CIO must not be published as it was a top secret matter likely to cause “confusion” if not communicated by the party’s information department.
He said very few people in Zanu PF were aware of the investigations and referred to those being investigated as “big people”.
Apart from the initial investigations, Zanu PF initiated another probe which was done by external auditors, Kudenga & Company, but its findings have been kept a closely guarded secret.
Asked to comment on the latest developments, Mutasa yesterday said: “I don’t know anything of that nature. That work is being done by Karimanzira. I can’t take his job.”
The party’s spokesperson Nathan Shamuyarira said there were various committees dealing with the matter but could not identify them.
“There are various committees currently looking into that matter. I have no further comment,” Shamuyarira said.
Since last week efforts to get a comment from police chief spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena were fruitless as he said he was still verifying the details.
In the first report, the ruling party’s businesses were said to be in trouble as there were no records of transactions, with arrangements at their formation said to have been done verbally. The party’s companies said to have collapsed include M&S Syndicate, Zidco Holdings and Catercraft. On Catercraft, the report said the firm had not been audited for at least four years and there were no board meetings for two years.
Interests in other companies such as National Blankets, Woolworths and Ottawa Building that used to house ANC members in Harare before South Africa’s move to democracy were disposed of in suspicious circumstances.
The report also raised concern over a number of briefcase companies which the parties used as investment vehicles. These include Segmented Investments, Sovereign, Hustonville, Tescrom, Amelia, Ryobi, Printfit, Smoothnest and M&S Investments, which were formed to evade the current European Union and American sanctions.
A number of Zanu PF companies were at the time under internal investigation for corruption and possible fraud. Some of the companies had not been audited for years and their financial accounts were a complete mess.