ZIMBABWE Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo is currently hogging the public limelight — for good reasons.
Editor’s Memo,Dumisani Muleya
Since being appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa into the hot seat recently, she has been a breath of fresh air. She has shown enthusiasm, courage and determination to fight corruption. She says she is not scared and wants to take the bull by the horns. Fighting corruption is never easy. Corruption barons and their networks always fight back to protect their ill-gotten gains.
Having risen through the judicial system and with vast experience in the courts and prosecution, she is definitely a good leader of the anti-corruption campaign.
Being married to Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo — an influential power broker in Mnangagwa’s government — is an added advantage. After all, Moyo became the face of the current government after taking the risky and decisive step to announce the coup which toppled former president Robert Mugabe in November 2017. He became a symbol of risk-taking and courage as no one at the time anticipated the military going frontal for Mugabe.
Of course, we reported at the time that the dangerous brinkmanship between Mugabe and the army was going to boil down to who would blink first. Mugabe did. He tried to raise a cloud of dust, but nothing would save him from the consequences of his misrule and failure that caused infighting around his succession battle.
Back to Matanda-Moyo, she started her work with a bang. By design or coincidence, her first victim was Tourism minister Priscah Mupfumira who is accused of massive corruption at the National Social Security Authority involving US$95 million when she was still Public Service minister.
It seems Zacc means business. Matanda-Moyo went for the jugular on Mupfumira, although questions are being raised whether this is about corruption or politics. Whatever the case, Zacc seems to have had a new start.
Mnangagwa threw his weight behind Zacc yesterday by firing Mupfumira with immediate effect after she was detained over various corruption allegations.
Mupfumira was arrested by Zacc, becoming one of the few sitting ministers of the ruling Zanu PF party to be arrested and jailed for corruption, and certainly the first under Mnangagwa’s rule. She was detained after being recently named by Zanu PF youths as one of the corrupt officials around. It appears they want to make her an example.
The minister was also sacked by Mugabe weeks before the coup. After the putsch she was re-appointed in a new portfolio. Now she has been fired again while behind bars.
Mnangagwa has promised to fight corruption head on, which has contributed to the destruction of the economy and people’s lives. Zimbabwe is rife with corrupt looters who steal for self-aggrandisement. Some steal directly from public resources, others from the private sector and then have the temerity to flaunt with impunity their loot through buying huge mansions and fancy cars which they try to hawk around to the morally feeble and gullible in society as symbols of success.
The effects of corruption on the economy and development are well-known. Zimbabwe has partly been destroyed by corruption which is commonplace. Corrupt rogues are known, but continue to walk the streets without consequences.
Now people are watching closely Zacc and Matanda-Moyo’s next moves. Will they intensify the anti-corruption campaign by arresting notorious criminals out there or just go for the small fish? If Zacc is to win public confidence and support, it must go for the big fish, not frogs.
Advocate Thabani Mpofu yesterday offered to render his services for free to prosecute and bring to book criminals who stole public resources in various sectors, particularly diamonds and command agriculture.
If Mnangagwa is to be taken seriously on combating corruption, he must go for greedy scoundrels and their networks — some of whom his critics say are linked to him — without fear or favour. We are watching.