THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has come under fire for politicising its operations selectively targeting Zanu-PF ministers in the inclusive Government for alleged corruption to the exclusion of documented cases of corruption in the MDC-T and other sectors of society.
Political observers say ZACC's "deafening" silence on MDC ministers, the Prime Minister's double-dipping scandal, and documented corruption in MDC-T-led local authorities pointed to political manoeuvring by ZACC to abet the MDC-T cause ahead of elections.
Although corruption could never be condoned, the analysts said, ZACC's selective investigation of one side of Government just three months shy of scheduled polls could only be interpreted as aimed at bolstering the MDC-T's waning fortunes.
Despite suffering legal losses recently, ZACC insists on securing warrants to search the offices of Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu, Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche, and Youth, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
Sources close to developments at Harvest House say these three ministries, along with the Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Ministry and all State enterprises under them were identified by the MDC-T as integral to the Zanu-PF campaign and message.
Midlands State University lecturer Dr Nhamo Mhiripiri yesterday said the ZACC was supposed to be driven by national interests when executing its constitutional mandate.
He said the commission should explain to Zimbabweans the methodology it was using that made it exclusively target Zanu-PF officials in Government.
"We need not condone corruption as a country. Before elections we need to scrutinise everyone to see if they are fit to occupy public office. However, this should not be subjected to people from one political party only because it undermines that party ahead of polls.
"The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission should tell the country if its whistle blowers are sending information against Zanu-PF only. They should convincingly tell the country on how they come to act on complaints they are receiving from people. That methodology should be explained so that the people know the net is getting everyone who is corrupt. The people should not be discredited without some facts," he said.
Dr Mhiripiri said Zanu-PF had the right to complain against the perceived selective investigations being carried out by the commission.
Political analyst and Zanu-PF politburo member Professor Jonathan Moyo said ZACC's operations were not beyond reproach.
Prof Moyo said the blitz on mainly Zanu-PF ministers in Government sparked outrage because the commission was abusing its office to score political points for the MDC formations in Government.
"The commission has done nothing on corruption by some MDC councils, some of which have even been fired by their party for abusing office. They did nothing on fraud involving US$1,5 million meant for the Prime Minister's house.
"There is nothing that was done involving the US$20 million special drawing rights by the Ministry of Finance deposited (with a local bank) without accruing interest that later disappeared.
"They also did not do anything on the looting of diamonds in Marange by ACR, yet they are interested in investigating the Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation, going back to the period when ACR was still operating in Chiadzwa," he said.
Prof Moyo said ZACC was set up in 2000, but argued that the current board leading the commission's lifespan was over because it was set up by the GPA parties.
He said there was no need for the board to remain in office.
"The commission is going after these three Zanu-PF ministers 100 days before elections because they want to damage the mainstay of Zanu-PF's empowerment programmes and benefit the MDC-T that has done nothing over the past four years it has been in Government. They have no manifestos," he said.
He said some of the parastatals being targeted such as the Zimbabwe National Road Administration had done "tremendous" work in rehabilitating the country's major roads.
Political analyst and women rights crusader Dr Margaret Dongo said ZACC should conduct its business in a manner that does not raise suspicion.
She said corruption was rampant among church members, political parties and business institutions.
"Corruption enjoys no colour, creed or belief. There are corrupt people in Zanu-PF and MDC formations - everywhere, there is corruption. If you target one party, in a way you are telling the other party to continue looting national coffers because you will not touch them. The fight against corruption should not take a partisan approach," she said.
Another political observer Dr Eldred Masunungure said not only Zanu-PF was disturbed by the operations of the ZACC, but other stakeholders were also dissatisfied.
"This shows some internal inadequacies of the ZACC. They are not enjoying adequate autonomy hence they are vulnerable to political and business pressures as well as international forces. Being accused of corruption damages one's reputation and ZACC should exercise extreme caution when dealing with these matters.
"ZACC should be revamped, strengthened at policy making level and the implementers should be professional enough . . . This is a sensitive area and they should be cautious in the way they conduct themselves," he said.