On Monday, the President Emmerson Mnangagwa, appointed a new team of Commissioners to lead in the fight against corruption.
Zimbabweans are not mincing their words, on the role commissioners should play in uprooting corruption, in a country ranked 160 out of 175 of the most corrupt countries in the world.
Politicians, lawyers, law enforcement agents and academics make up the team that will work with Justice Matanda-Moyo who is the Chairperson of the Commission. On Monday, Justice Matanda Moyo revealed she was happy with the CVs of the new commissioners.
‘I am quite happy with the CV of the Commissioners, we have got Auditor Generals, we have got accountants, we have got police, we have got lawyers. So we have got a very good team, and I am confident that ZAAC is going to perform with the type of Commissioners that I have got,” she said.
Many Zimbabweans however, revealed that, action must speak louder than words. People indicated that, there are many cases that seem to have been swept under the carpet, and those cases must be revived and acted upon.
“My brother look at the cases, we were promised kuti pachasungwa vanhu (that people will be arrested), the ZESA issues, the NSSA issue. Sei vanhu vasati vasungwa (why are the perpetrators not arrested)?” queried Abel Mutema.
“We want action, action my brother and not toothless dogs,” fumed Mahomed Murecha who also seemed worried by the inclusion of political players like Chaibva and Majome.
“Politicians are the most corrupt elements in society, I am worried by these two political players. How are they going to arrest their fellow politicians? Are they not going to purge their enemies? To me that’s important when we talk of integrity,” added Murecha.
Professor Lovemore Madhuku, speaking to SADC News, said he has respect for some of the newly appointed commissioners but warned that the commission must not make the mistakes made in the past of arresting before investigation. There were many accusations, in the previous Commission that was headed by Goodson Nguni, where many accused people were arrested before proper investigations were conducted.
“Without mentioning names, I must say that I very much respect some of the persons constituting the new ZAAC. I have confidence in their capacity to make a difference .For example, I do not expect them to continue with the undesirable and ineffective ‘arrest first and investigate later’ approach,” warned Madhuku.
Asked whether the politicians included in the team will add value to the commission, Professor Madhuku, said politics is not a permanent home for anyone.
“Politics is not a permanent home. People who leave politics to do such things are known to be effective,” said Professor Madhuku who is a constitutional lawyer.
Gift Nyirenda a Harare resident said there was need to include members from church organisations.
“Where is the church in this team? There was need to include members from faith based organisations, not knowing all the new members but I don’t see any reputable church person,” noted Nyirenda.
Chief Chundu of Hurungwe, said action is important in fighting corruption, and the root causes of this scourge must be addressed by the new commission.
“The Commissioners must be active in looking into the root causes of corruption. Our people are suffering because of the few corrupt bad apples. Weeding out corruption will stimulate development in our country, stressed Chief Chundu
Outspoken Norton Member of Parliament, Temba Mliswa, was optimistic about the new team but had reservations on the appointment of Gabriel Chaibva. Mliswa said Chaibva will have no guts to confront ZANU PF corrupt officials.
Chaibva is a former MDC executive who defected to ZANU PF in 2010.
“Congrats to Jessie F Majome, I’ve no doubt (that) Commissioners like herself, Frank Muchengwa and Thandiwe Hlobane will carry the day. I must express my disappointment however over Gabriel Chaibva,” said Mliswa.
Mliswa believes Chaibva is being rewarded, for the stance he took in nailing the opposition MDC during the Motlante Commission that investigated the violence that erupted in August 2018.
“If ZANU PF wanted to reward him for appearing before the Motlanthe Commission, they could’ve given him a Board post instead not corruption as he’ll most likely protect those from ZANU PF, he’s my good friend but he’s not up to the task, emphasized Mliswa.
Controversial political commentator, and past Minister of Media Information and Publicity, Professor Jonathan Moyo, was happy that, Justice Matanda-Moyo had mentioned Command Agriculture as one of the graft issues to be investigated. Justice Matanda Moyo, on Monday pointed Command Agriculture as one of the institutions her Commission will investigate for corruption.
”Good. She’s now mentioning Command Agriculture. Conspicuously unmentioned are TBs(Treasury Bills), stolen diamonds and gold being diverted from Fidelity Refineries, and smuggled out of the country by an offspring of the corrupt VVIP!” said Moyo posting on his twitter.
Richard Muzezuru, commenting on the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcast Services page, said the selection was fairly done, and thanked the President for cutting across the political divide on his appointment of commissioners.
“The appointment is fairly done. It seems the general citizenry is accepting the nomination by HE E.D Mnangagwa. Thank you for proving that the fight is not a ZANU PF thing, let’s work together, “pointed Muzezuru.
Speaking to SADCnews, ZANU PF Secretary for Youth Affairs, Cde Pupurai Togarepi, whose youth arm is on a firebrand crusade against corruption, said the commissioners were chosen in a very transparent manner and has confidence in their execution of duty.
“They (commissioners) went through a very transparent selection process. This gives me confidence that we have the best for the job at hand,” said Togarepi.
Togarepi, added that the commissioners must work tirelessly for a graft free Zimbabwe, and advised the commissioners to close their pockets to avoid being bought. He also emphasized the need for the Commission to inform citizens about corruption.
“As ZANU PF Youth League, we hope the Commission will hit the ground running. Follow all the leads fairly, without fear or favour. The anti-corruption fight being pursued by President ED Mnangagwa needs people of integrity to achieve the desired results. I advise them to equally close the(ir) pockets if they will meet our expectations and that of the generality of our people in the fight against all forms of corruption. We expect them to come up with a wide and strong campaign program to inform citizens,” pointed out Togarepi.
The ZANU PF Youth league has torched storm after releasing a list of corrupt officials both in the party and private sector. The move has attracted a lot following with many people calling for the arrest of the named individuals.
ZAAC said it has ten days to itemize all corrupt issues before starting formal investigations.
SADCnews Zimbabwe Correspondent
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.