BY OBEY MANAYITI
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) says it will dig deep into senior Zanu PF and government officials’ feeding troughs, among them Command Agriculture, the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) and various other institutions that were exposed by the Auditor-General (AG) in its renewed fight against corruption.
In an interview after the swearing-in of Zacc commissioners at State House yesterday, chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo said they were currently investigating almost 200 cases of corruption.
Zacc has largely been seen as a toothless bulldog, which is only used to pursue personal scores and to push a factional agenda within Zanu PF.
Matanda-Moyo said they were ready to get down to work.
“We are now properly constituted and we can now start our functions in terms of the Constitution. New decisions can now be made and there is nothing that can stop the work of Zacc from commencing,” she said.
She, however, refused to divulge the names of those under investigation, but said they were using the AG’s report, Command Agriculture and NSSA audit reports in their probe.
She said already, there were too many cases before them to deal with.
“For now, we are still doing the investigations. We have the Auditor-General’s report, we have the NSSA audit report, we have the Hwange issues, we have Command Agriculture. We have so many cases that we are handling at the moment,” she said.
The AG has, on a yearly basis, exposed deep-rooted corruption, particularly by senior government officials and those heading parastatals.
Over the years, the government has lost millions of dollars through corruption, as exposed by the AG, although there seems to be reluctance in tackling the issue.
Government has channelled billions of dollars into Command Agriculture, which has not yielded the much-desired result, raising fears that the money could have been diverted from the project for personal use by top government and senior Zanu PF officials.
At one point, the matter was at the centre of Zanu PF factional fights.
Hwange Colliery Company and NSSA are other areas where, according to audit reports, plunder of resources by a few top connected officials took place.
The Hwange issue caused pandemonium in Parliament after those in high offices were implicated.
The drama at NSSA has also led to fights within the ruling party, with the youth league naming and shaming senior government officials, including Cabinet ministers and Zanu PF
officials, for reportedly swindling the institution of millions of dollars.
The eight commissioners sworn in yesterday were Fungai Jessie Majome, John Makamure, Marble Ndakaripa Hungwe, Gabriel Chaibva, Thandiwe Thando Mlobane, Frank Muchengwa, Michael
Dennis Santu and Kuziva Phineas Murapa.
Matanda-Moyo said she was impressed with the commissioners, adding that people must have confidence in her because as a judge, she will be honest and thorough.
“I am quite happy with the CVs of the commissioners. We have auditor-generals, we have accountants, we have police and lawyers, so we have a very good team and I am confident
that Zacc is going to perform with the type of commissioners that I have got.”
Majome said she would work towards eliminating corruption in the country.
“Zacc’s role is to act as a means to ensure that Zimbabwe decisively deals with the menace of corruption and that is from a policy level and as well as from an enforcement level,” she said.
“Zacc is given a mandate to take what I usually call a helicopter view around corruption in terms of the causes and effects and the detection of it as well as superintending and promoting the prosecution and holding to account in other means by the criminal law as well as the law itself.
“I think the bigger role is to also promote a culture of zero tolerance to corruption in our society.”
Muchengwa said as a former police officer and head of commercial crime at Harare Central Police Station, he will use his background to investigate complex cases and overcome associated hurdles to fight corruption.