MDC reluctant to act on corrupt officials 

Source: MDC reluctant to act on corrupt officials | The Herald January 10, 2020

MDC reluctant to act on corrupt officials

Blessings Chidakwa and Sallomy Matare
Three months down the line MDC is reluctant to suspend or fire officials fingered in corrupt activities after its leader Mr Nelson Chamisa appointed a committee to probe graft.

The Integrity and Accountability Panel (IAP) comprised six officials led by Advocate Thabani Mpofu.

Despite evidence of corruption involving land sales in the MDC-Alliance-led councils countrywide, including Harare, Chitungwiza, Mutare, Masvingo and Kadoma, no action has been taken against officials by the opposition party.

There are also allegations that the process is a witch-hunt to oust those who were opposed to Mr Chamisa’s ascendency to power following the death of the party’s founding president Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.

A senior MDC official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the team was just part of a faction fight.

“The whole issue of the probe team is a witch-hunt stemming from factional fights. After elections, Mr Chamisa wanted to appoint mayors loyal to him and fired Masvingo, Chegutu, Victoria Falls mayors who both defied his directives and threats to be fired from the party.

“So this whole issue of a probe team is just meant to hoodwink the public. No official loyal to him would be chopped,” said the source.

Shortly after the 2018 harmonised elections The Herald had it on good record that Mr Chamisa forced newly-elected Chegutu mayor councillor Henry Muchatibaya and Masvingo mayor Advocate Collins Maboke to resign.

MDC Mashonaland West provincial chairman Ralph Magunje confirmed that the party had ordered Clr Muchatibaya to resign following a national directive and the party’s Masvingo provincial chair Mr James Gumbi also confirmed that Clr Maboke had been ordered to step down.

In an interview yesterday, MDC presidential spokesman Dr Nkululeko Sibanda said the committee will brief Mr Chamisa when “they feel appropriate.”

“The president demands the best. The panel has begun its work, but is yet to present its findings.

“The work is intense thus I believe it would be too early to speculate.

“We are not doing the actual work. It is an independent panel. They will brief the president on progress. The chairman of the panel is currently outside the country,” he said.

Asked to clarify on what he meant by saying the work is intense, Dr Sibanda said, “It’s checking for accountability in all public spaces, the quantity of the work is huge and the level of precision required by the president and the standards that chairman Adv Mpofu wants mean that there is a lot of behind the scenes work.”

Adv Mpofu promised to issue a statement before the end of the month.