HARARE – Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere has warned Zanu PF-administered councils that he will be more ruthless with them if they are found to be corrupt to send a message that his anti-graft crusade is not partisan.
Addressing Zanu PF supporters in Karoi last week, Kasukuwere said he expected local authorities run by the governing party to be exemplary in the way they conducted their business.
“My wish is that as council leaders, we should shun corruption, let’s not be unfair to our people, let us not steal from them. We want transparency from the mayors and Zanu PF councillors must be exemplary.
“If I find you as a party member being corrupt, what I am doing with the MDC councillors is nothing. I will come hard on you because that will send a clear message to others that when we do it to them it’s not a witch-hunt,” Kasukuwere said.
Since his appointment as Local Government minister last year, Kasukuwere has engaged in running battles with local authorities, particularly those run by the MDC, firing several elected councillors in what the opposition party has condemned as Zanu PF’s method of destabilising their operations.
The Morgan Tsvangirai-led party has also accused Kasukuwere of abusing his government post to shore up support for Zanu PF ahead of the 2018 elections and violating the Urban Councils Act in the process.
But Kasukuwere said he expected discipline from council officials regardless of political party affiliation.
“Do not play with the people because we are going to need them come 2018. If you had been stealing, stop it now and if you had any such plans, drop them.
“The big brother is watching you and he will come after you. You must stop that immediately. We are telling the MDC the same message and you are no exception.”
He directed Karoi Municipality to identify land for residential purposes and promised to distribute the stands to Zanu PF youths and women ahead of elections.
“The women’s league has asked for stands and we have got the land. The programme that we started for youths is going ahead and it must be extended to the women as well.
“Karoi must just show us where the land is so that we subdivide it and we share the stands among ourselves.
“I do not want to hear any woman, widows and even girls who will be lodging come 2018. Everyone must have a roof over their head,” Kasukuwere said.