24 March 2013

Zimbabwe: Don't Set Me On Collision Course With My Bosses ? Kasukuwere

INDIGENISATION Minister Saviour Kasukuwere is breathing fire over a story published in yesterday's edition of NewsDay alleging that the Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission (ZACC) was now a battle ground for Zanu PF succession politics.

The story alleged that Kasukuwere believed a faction led by Vice President Joice Mujuru was behind attempts to arrest him and two other cabinet ministers on suspicion of being involved in corrupt activities.

But Kasukuwere yesterday said he was not given a chance to defend himself and accused the journalist behind the story of malicious intent to end his political career by setting him on a collision course with Mujuru.

This, however, was despite several attempts to get a comment from him.  On Wednesday, Kasukuwere answered his mobile phone and said he was in a meeting. Subsequent attempts to get a comment did not yield results.

"You are abusing your privileges as the media. You want to destroy me. I have a family to look after. You should know that I am not your sibling," Kasukuwere charged at the reporter yesterday.

"I have been quite about the issue because I know you want to set me on a collision course with my leadership. I have never said Mujuru wanted to get me arrested. It is your sources who said that, not mine."

Mujuru and Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly lead Zanu PF factions angling to succeed President Robert Mugabe. The two have however repeatedly denied harboring presidential ambitions.

According to the NewsDay report, Zanu PF has allegedly divided the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) with some commissioners contemplating quitting in protest over infiltration as the anti-graft body becomes the latest battle ground for the political party's succession politics.

ZACC is reportedly heavily divided with some commissioners claiming their efforts to crack down on corrupt top Zanu PF officials were being frustrated by 'sell-outs' in their midst who were allegedly leaking information to targeted party big wigs.

The High Court recently blocked ZACC   from conducting searches at National Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Board (Nieeb) and Zimbabwe Mining development Corporation (ZMDC) offices.

Kasukuwere, Transport Minister Nicholas Goche and Mines minister Obert Mpofu — all Zanu PF politburo heavyweights were the target of ZACC's crackdown.

Zacc spokesperson Goodwill Shana last week told journalists that the commission did not secure search warrants to "pursue under-hand and malicious investigations against certain organisations, their officials and respective ministries."

Although Shana denied that commissioners were contemplating quitting, The Standard  is reliably informed that such plans were being muted due to infiltration of the body.

"Even if Zacc has overwhelming evidence against the ministers, it is difficult to nab them because the ministers are informed of every move," the source said.

One of the commissioners recently warned fellow commissioners' against probing ministers. He allegedly said the ministers were "untouchable" and probing them would have a reverse effect on the commission. True to his word, ZACC is under siege.

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