VICE-PRESIDENT Phelekezela Mphoko stunned President Robert Mugabe and senior government officials at a high-level meeting when he said cabinet was full of thieves while also calling for the dissolution of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).
During the meeting, held on December 20 before Mugabe went on annual leave in the Far East, Mphoko called for the dissolution of Zacc, arguing it was being used as a political tool to target a few senior government officials when the entire cabinet was corrupt.
Mphoko was apparently angry that Zacc was pursing Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo while leaving out other corrupt ministers.
“Mr President, Zacc must be disbanded. They have become a political tool for some among us. Why is Zacc going after one minister when this room is full of thieves?” queried Mphoko, before gesturing: “There are thieves all over in this room.”
Government officials who attended the meeting said a stunned Mugabe chuckled, but did not respond.
Moyo is being pursued by Zacc over the alleged abuse of over US$400 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef). It has since emerged that some of the funds were used to fund Zanu PF activities and projects in his Tsholotsho North constituency.
Mphoko and Moyo are key members of the G40 faction, which has coalesced around First Lady Grace Mugabe.
The G40 faction believes Zacc is being used by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s backers to hound his political opponents.
Moyo has publicly disclosed that he used the money to sponsor the Zanu PF Youth League’s million-man march, apart from buying bicycles for chiefs in his Tsholotsho North constituency.
“The million-man march was not a Zanu PF event. It was a national event in solidarity with the President as head of state & government!” Moyo tweeted in October, after being asked by his followers if using Zimdef funds for Zanu PF activities was not tantamount to abusing state resources.
Moyo has also taken to Twitter, alleging he was being pursued as part of a tribal and succession agenda.
“No to tribal capture of state institution,” he tweeted in October. Factionalists, successionists and tribalists reckon they get away with corrupting and abusing institutions and due processes. “Everyone knows who the thieving tribalists and murderers are. If you do not know them you are a fool or one of them. Down with tribalism.”