BY ANDREW KUNAMBURA
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has launched a fresh countrywide anti-graft blitz targeting ministries and local authorities in a development that could result in mass arrests.
The Zimbabwe Independent understands that the commission has already dispatched investigative teams to Norton Town Council, Mutoko Rural District Council and Umzingwane Rural District Council following reports of widespread corruption.
The investigators, sources said, have already completed their tasks and submitted reports which are currently being examined at the corruption watchdog’s headquarters in Harare.
A similar investigation was also undertaken at the Ministry of Industry and International Trade and the Independent can reveal that a report from the probe is now with Zacc chairperson Justice Loyce Matanda-Moyo.
Investigations are also underway at the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development following the Independent’s exposé last month of deep-seated corruption, which resulted in two of its top directors being suspended on allegations that they tried to solicit bribes from South African potential investors, Lephalele Mining.
The ministry’s chief director Mercy Manyuchi, together with the director of the Zimbabwe Geological Survey, Forbes Mugumbate, had been fingered in the alleged scam and suspended, but Manyuchi was later exonerated by the Central Intelligence Organisation, which carried out the investigation, according to a document seen by this newspaper at the time.
“There have been reports of widespread corruption at various local authorities and government ministries and teams were duly deployed to investigate these reports. Currently, investigation reports for Norton Town Council and Mutoko and Umzingwane RDCs have been submitted to our offices for scrutiny and possible action,” an official source said.
The source, directly involved in the investigations, added: “Another investigation is currently underway at the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, while the ministries of Home Affairs, Public Service and Agriculture are also being targeted. It will be a bloodbath.”
Zacc national spokesperson John Makamure confirmed the developments in an interview this week, but declined to give details.
He said: “For now, we can confirm compliance reviews were undertaken at Norton Town Council, but cannot divulge details until the report has been approved.
“We have carried out similar exercises in Mutoko RDC which resulted in the high-profile arrests of senior executives. We have also done checks at Umzingwane RDC, while in government similar exercises have been carried out in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. We will commence the exercise in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development soon.
“We are striving to ensure that we roll out these exercises in as many government ministries and departments and local authorities as possible. These reviews are undertaken to fulfil Zacc’s constitutional function, which is to make recommendations to government and other persons on measures to enhance integrity and accountability and prevent improper conduct in the public and private sectors.”
Corruption has been cited as one of the country’s stumbling blocks to attracting investment. Despite President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s constant declarations against the vice, it remains rampant in his administration and the private sector.