via Government urged to arrest parastatal looters as Air Zim boss is arrested | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu on Thursday, February 13, 2014
The government should not just sacrifice a few individuals but must arrest all the individuals who have been named in the ongoing exposes on corporate corruption, an MDC-T executive member has said.
MDC- T shadow minister for transport, Elias Mudzuri, said this in reaction to the arrest of Air Zimbabwe company secretary and acting managing director Grace Pfumbidzayi on Wednesday.
Pfumbidzayi was arrested the same day top managers at the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) were reported to have looted the struggling parastatal. She was arrested on six charges of fraud involving $7 million, in relation to an alleged insurance scam at the national airline, a NewsDay report said Thursday.
Pfumbidzayi’s arrest follows an audit report which implicated senior managers at the national airline. It also came at a time when a local government ministry report showed how ZANU PF people have been illegally parceling out urban land.
Transport minister Obert Mpofu this week suspended boards of five parastatals which fall under his portfolio, including Air Zimbabwe. But as this was happening, some culprits, who include members of President Mugabe’s inner circle, remained free. Two weeks ago local government minister Ignatius Chombo reinstated Harare Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi, soon after he was suspended by the council for awarding ‘corrupt salaries’ to himself and his colleagues.
Mudzuri told SW Radio Africa that the government is not serious about tackling corruption. He said corruption at the national airline was much deeper than what has been exposed so far and a lot more people should be arrested.
He said: ‘Air Zimbabwe went into the red because of abuse. The real culprits are at the top and they don’t want to talk about corruption. It is in their blood and veins and so when you talk about it they think you want to kill them.’
Mudzuri also revealed that Parliament Thursday failed to discuss corruption, including the rot at the national airline, after the MPs were told to go home because the toilets were faulty. The MP for Warren Park said he believes the adjournment of Parliament was a ploy to prevent the discussion on corruption. He said when MPs regroup after a short break, which starts next week, people will have forgotten about corruption.
Mudzuri’s colleague, Gorden Moyo, onWednesday said he expected most of the exposed executives to go scot free because corporate corruption was a secret government programme to cushion strategic individuals, who include soldiers. The former minister of state enterprises revealed that four years ago he discovered that the GMB had 2,000 soldiers on its pay roll.
Going by Moyo’s revelation, reports that General Manager Albert Mandizha and his two colleagues looted GMB are just the tip of the iceberg. According to a Daily News report Mandizha and his colleagues converted luxury company cars into personal property, without paying the GMB.
Mugabe has remained mum on corruption reports which include revelations that he was patron at the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS). Reports have shown how the medical aid society was looted by senior people who include Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba, who earned $100, 000 last year for sitting on the board.
It is not clear if an extraordinary ZANU PF Politburo meeting, scheduled for Friday, will discuss corruption. But a statement from the party’s chairman said every politburo member must attend ‘without fail.’