Letwin Nyambayo 26 February 2018
BULAWAYO – Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu has said the new dispensation
has zero tolerance for corruption, amid calls for him to quit over an
allegation that he demanded a bribe of $10 million for a licence to mine
in the verdant Chiadzwa diamond fields.
The scandal threatens to weaken President Emmerson Mnangagwa politically
who has made fighting corruption a top priority as he faces a tough
presidential and parliamentary general election for control of the
Mpofu last Thursday squirmed under tough probe and intense questions
before a parliamentary panel on diamond dealings during his time as Mines
minister alleging the chairperson of the Mines and Energy committee Temba
Mliswa had a vendetta against him.
A day earlier, Mpofu had told a reception ceremony for interim solution
equipment under the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) recapitalisation
and signing of framework agreement held in the City of Kings that the new
Zimbabwe does not tolerate corruption.
“People should realise that things have changed,” Mpofu said.
“The time of insulting each other and corruption is over. Those people who
have been practising corruption should realise that their time is over.
“We should now be talking of developing in our country,” he said amid
inaudible interjections and laughter from the crowd.
Mnangagwa presided over the reception ceremony.
The government, with the help from the Diaspora Infrastructure Development
Group and Transnet (DIDG-Transnet) money and expertise, wants to rebuild
NRZ and restore some of the industry’s former glory.
The mothballed NRZ is taking delivery of 120 freight wagons, 14
locomotives and 24 coaches under a $400 million deal with South African
logistics group Transnet.
This comes after negotiations between the NRZ and Transnet – which won the
bid jointly with Diaspora Investment Group (DIDG), a group of Zimbabwean
investors living abroad – were completed in December last year.
Modernising the railways, government hopes, will boost movement of people
and goods and exports.
That would help support Zimbabwe’s economy, which has been plunged into
Transport minister Joram Gumbo has said the initial negotiations with
DIDG-Transnet had allowed for provision of part of the needed locomotives,
wagons and passenger coaches which will immediately generate revenue for