New Zimbabwe (London)

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Roasts Deputy Over Graft Gaffe

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe reportedly challenged his deputy over the ongoing pay scandal during Friday's extra-ordinary politburo meeting, Zanu PF insiders who attended the meeting have revealed.

Mugabe called the meeting after Vice President Joice Mujuru sparked widespread outrage by dismissing the pay scandal as the work of enemies allegedly trying to destroy Zanu PF and the government from within.

Mujuru also demanded that the media stop reporting the allegations and leave Zanu PF to deal with the scandal internally.

The comments that were seen to suggest the government was not united on the campaign against corruption.

She later backtracked, claiming she had been misquoted but the damage was done.

Sources said Mugabe challenged Mujuru to explain whether or not she supported the clampdown against corruption.

Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, however downplayed the issue when he spoke to the media after the meeting.

"She presented her story and it was clear to everyone that she is against corruption," he said.

According to Gumbo, Mugabe ordered thorough investigations into the scandal, insisting the facts must be established before action is taken against those implicated.

"The President was very, very strong against corruption," party spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said after the meeting.

"He indicated that the problem has to be identified first and we have to do something about it but we must first establish facts. The president said decisive action will be taken against those found corrupt," said Gumbo.

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