Red flag raised over Zacc aspirants

Source: Red flag raised over Zacc aspirants | The Sunday Mail 24 MAR, 2019

Brian Chitemba
Investigations Editor

A team of investigators from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) last week submitted an adverse report to Parliament on 16 candidates that applied to be commissioners.

The report dated March 21 2019 was delivered to Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda’s office.

Overall, 133 candidates applied for the post, which fell vacant after the resignation of the Dr Job Wabhira-led commission on January 31 this year.

The 16 candidates include Mr Denford Chirindo, Dr Catherine Muchechetere, Mrs Christina Fundira, Mr Boyana Ndou, Dr Nanette Silikhuni, Dr Onesmus Nyaude, Mr Smile Dube, Mr Never Katiyo, Mr Albert Mandizha, Mr Geoffrey Nyarota, Tshuma Mehluli and Caroline Chigumbura.

Mr Rabson Mpofu, Ms Theresa Mutabeni, Mrs Angeline Guvamombe and Mr Edmore Veterai also make up the list.

The unnamed Zacc officers claimed in the report that “the presence of these nominees diminishes the integrity of Zacc in line with the song of the New Dispensation of fighting corruption”.

They also claimed that “without proper diagnosis of these “corrupt” nominees, Zacc can’t fight it. It will remain a dead horse waiting for vultures to devour it”.

According to a report by the “concerned officers of Zacc”, Mr Denford Chirindo cannot possibly be considered because he served on two previous commissions, which all failed to deliver.

“He (Mr Chirindo) served in the commission from 2009 to 2019. This amounts to 10 years of service, but no significant results were produced in the fight against corruption,” reads part of the letter.

“During his term of office, he was involved in a legal battle with employees, where he fought against the award of already existing benefits.”

Ms Christina Fundira — also a former commissioner — is accused of having a penchant for foreign trips during her tenure, some of which were not approved by Cabinet.

She is also implicated for looting fuel from Zacc.

“She would get as much as 700 litres of diesel per month.

“This behaviour is criminal and needs to be investigated,” she said.

Another ex-commissioner who is being rejected is Dr Catherine Muchechetere, who stands accused of attending a training course in Hong Kong without Cabinet approval together with another ex-commissioner Farayi Mashonganyika.

The latter is, however, not seeking reappointment.

The aggrieved Zacc staffers also say Mr Boyana Ndou, a former senior police officer who is seeking another term with the same commission, should be investigated over his role in the previous Zacc finance committee.

Another former commissioner Dr Nanette Silukhuni allegedly covered up cases involving ex-Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo.

“All his (Dr Chombo) cases were shelved because of Silukhuni’s influence as a commissioner. Her application to re-join the commission should be treated with the full contempt it deserves,” added the letter.

Separately, Dr Onesmus Nyaude, who was once tasked with rebranding the crime-busting body, stands accused of flouting procurement regulations.

The letter also raises reservations on the candidature of former Daily News Editor Mr Geoffrey Nyarota, who they claim was once investigated by the Zacc.

Similarly, Mr Smile Dube is facing the same allegation.

Former Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officer commanding Matabeleland North province Mr Edmore Veterai’s nomination is being contested over alleged corruption cases.

Further, Mr Mehluli Tshuma was once investigated under CRB 309/13, while Caroline Chigumbura was allegedly caught up in a storm at NMB over alleged fraud.

On Ms Angeline Guvamombe, the report says: “The last promotions she (Guvamombe) did in the police should be investigated.”

The letter also condemns Mr Rabson Mpofu as unqualified to be a crime-buster because of his “questionable” history with the police minerals department.

Former Grain Marketing Board boss Mr Albert Mandizha is not spared either over alleged abuse of farming inputs.

The Zacc officers also had no kind words for Ms Theresa Mutabeni.

“She is a retired Assistant Commissioner in police who was in charge of Grace Mugabe’s security. Due to her close association with Grace Mugabe, she was undeservedly promoted to that rank.”

Mr Kennedy Chokuda could not be reached for comment by the time of going to print.

However, procedurally, Parliament will investigate the allegations against the Zacc nominees before the public interviews.

Once the public interviews are done, then the 133 candidates’ list will be whittled down to 12 names which will be forwarded to President Mnangagwa.

Only 10 commissioners will be appointed.