By Tererai Karimakwenda
SW Radio Africa
21 July, 2014
Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs Minister has reportedly dispersed the anti-corruption team of commissioners, who were re-appointed by Robert Mugabe last year, saying he had realised that the move by the President was unconstitutional.
According to the independent Newsday newspaper, Minister Kembo Mohadi ordered the commissioners to stop acting on behalf of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), to allow parliament to invite fresh nominations.
The report said Mohadi was addressing legislators on Tuesday, following claims and concerns by some MPs that the nine commissioners were still drawing their salaries and had accumulated a $500,000 debt hiring vehicles for their private use.
Ironically, it was a memo from the Home Affairs ministry that ordered the commissioners to continue with their duties after their term expired last August, and Mohadi now says it has been realised the new constitution takes precedence over their re-appointment.
The nine were appointed by the unity government and several opposition legislators are reported to have expressed concern to Mohadi that the new commission might be packed with ZANU PF cronies in order to block any investigations of corruption in the future.
Political commentator Lameck Mahachi agreed with the MPs’ concerns, saying that ZANU PF always has a ploy and it should be Mugabe who announces that the re-appointment was not constitutional.
“Kembo Mohadi knows full well that corruption is rampant within ZANU PF and if this commission is dissolved, most of its members will then be derived from ZANU PF and obviously they won’t investigate themselves,” Mahachi told SW Radio Africa.
He added that dissolving the current commission will be no great loss to Zimbabweans as it never really had the mandate to prosecute any perpetrators. Their own behaviour regarding the rental of cars for personal use also shows they had no intention to do real work.
Mohadi was also questioned by legislators as to why the current team had not tabled any report of their activities and whether Mugabe’s office had been informed of their dismissal. He simply stated that Zacc reports would be tabled by new commissioners to be nominated by parliament.
Among the opposition legislators questioning Mohadi were Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T), Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC), Settlement Chikwinya (MDC-T) and Willias Madzimure (MDC-T).
According to Newsday, the speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda assured the legislators that nominations for new commissioners would be invited soon.