10 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Party to Weed Out Senoir Corrupt Officials - Mutasa

But Zanu PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa yesterday vowed that the party would weed out cabinet ministers and senior officials implicated in corruption, as it seeks to portray a "clean" image ahead of this year's watershed elections.

Mutasa told The Standard that in line with what Mugabe pledged at the Zanu PF annual national people's conference in Gweru last year, all cabinet ministers and senior officials implicated in corruption would soon be investigated by the police.

"All of us in the party must be straightforward in our dealings," he said.

"All those implicated in corruption, no matter what rank they hold, be it cabinet minister, will be investigated."

Mutasa said police investigations should reveal if there were ministers and other top officials involved in the nearly US$1 million scam which led to Madiro's suspension.

He described as misplaced, comments by Madiro that he was being targeted by his political opponents within Zanu PF, who wanted to destroy him.

"Madiro should not complain that the allegations are a creation of certain individuals," Mutasa said.

"It is the police and not Zanu PF who alerted us of these allegations. The police wrote to the presidium [Zanu PF] detailing the allegations. The President [Mugabe] then said the police should go ahead with their investigations."

He said Zanu PF would not collapse in Manicaland because of the suspension of its chairman.

"The party does not depend on one individual, but on all its members whose interests it is always fighting for," he said.

Sources in Zanu PF said renewed threats to arrest corrupt officials were an election gimmick.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has been investigating several bigwigs implicated in corrupt deals, but no headway has been made, as Mugabe was yet to authorise the arrest of the suspects.

Mugabe at his party's conference in December last year, revealed that some of his cabinet ministers were corrupt to the core, demanding bribes of up to US$10 million from prospective foreign investors. He admitted that some of the cabinet ministers were using his name to hoodwink the unsuspecting investors, some of whom had complained to former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Mugabe's threats to fire the implicated ministers have yet to materialise.

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