PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe this week ordered police to investigate five Zanu PF Manicaland provincial executives facing fraud allegations involving more than US$750 000 in diamond money, saying the party did not tolerate corruption.
A visibly angry Mugabe removed the matter from the politburo agenda on Wednesday and threw it back to the police for investigation, arguing the supreme party organ was not the right forum to discuss a matter more criminal than political.
The five, who include Manicaland provincial chairperson Mike Madiro, ousted provincial youth chairperson Tawanda Mukodza, provincial youth secretary for security Admire Mahachi, provincial youth secretary for information Masimba Kangai and former district co-ordinating committee member Clever Muparutsa, are accused of soliciting for money from diamond mining companies in Chiadzwa purportedly for party activities including preparations for the party's annual people's conference in Gweru last December.
Mugabe met with Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Zanu PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo and party secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa just before the politburo meeting, where he fumed over the decision to bring the matter to the party for investigation.
Politburo insiders told the Zimbabwe Independent yesterday that: "Mugabe said the matter was a clear case of theft and corruption and as a party we should not tolerate corruption."
He asked what message they would be sending out if they were to discuss the issue."
When the matter was initially reported to the police, acting Commissioner-General Levi Sibanda wrote to Mujuru, then acting president, seeking advice on what action to take since the issue involved top party officials.