Ex-anti graft commissioners off govt payroll

via Ex-anti graft commissioners off govt payroll November 8, 2014

GOVERNMENT has finally stopped paying salaries and benefits to former commissioners of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) following several months of bickering.

According to correspondence in the possession of NewsDay, government ordered the Salaries Services Bureau to stop paying salaries and other benefits.

The termination of salaries and benefits was disclosed by Silence Pondo, the ZACC acting secretary who advised that the anti-graft, body had last paid commissioners at the end of August.

“We are in receipt of a letter from our line ministry dated 22 September 2014 referenced D2/7/SI giving a directive for us to advise the chairman and commissioners of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on the termination of their salaries and benefits,” the letter reads.

“The letter is in pursuant to a letter from the secretary for home affairs dated 19 September 2014 referenced D2/7/51 addressed to the director, Salaries Services Bureau (SSB) instructing them to cease payment of salaries and benefits to commissioners whose term of office expired 31 August 2013, but was extended to facilitate winding up of business.”

“Therefore, as per the directive from Ministry of Home Affairs to the Salary Services Bureau, the payment of salaries and benefits for both the chairman and commissioners ceased effective as from 31 August 2014 to coincide with the tenure of office of the chairman,” reads part of the letter seen by NewsDay.
The commissioners’ term of office expired in August last year. In May, the commissioners were told to return to work.

Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi later reversed the re-appointment and told the commissioners to cease purporting to act on behalf of the anti-graft body until Parliament has invited fresh nominations.

In July, MPs led by Buhera South legislator Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) claimed that ZACC commissioners were still drawing salaries and allowances and had incurred a $500 000 debt in vehicle hire for their own private errands.

In response, Mohadi told Parliament that he was forced to reverse the re-appointment of the ZACC commissioners after realising that President Robert Mugabe had breached the Constitution when he extended their term of office in May.

Already Emmanuel Chimwanda, one of ZACC’s commissioners has challenged Pondo’s directive through filing an urgent chamber application in the High Court. In his application Chimwanda argues that his contract still subsists as there was no new commission put in place as indicated from previous correspondences from the Ministry of Home Affairs and from ZACC chairperson Denford Chirindo.

“I am a commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission, having been appointed on 1 September 2011 by his Excellency President Robert Mugabe,” reads Chimwanda’s founding affidavit.

ZACC was set up during the inclusive government to investigate and expose cases of corruption in the public and private sectors.

ZACC was also empowered to direct the Commissioner-General of Police to investigate cases of suspected corruption and to report to the Commission on the results of such investigation and to make recommendations to the government and other persons on measures to enhance integrity and accountability and prevent improper conduct in the public and private sectors.

But critics say ZACC has been highly inefficient and has failed to stop corruption in the country.