HARARE – The Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC has called upon President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba to shut up and let the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) carry out its constitutional mandate and investigate any official involved in graft regardless of social status or political rank and without undue interference.
The opposition party’s comments come at a time when some high-ranking Zanu PF officials are seemingly hell-bent on frustrating the current blitz that is targeting top party officials, including permanent secretaries and heads of parastatals.
MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said the party supported the anti-graft commission’s latest clampdown that seems to have ruffled feathers, including in president Robert Mugabe’s office.
The raids seem to have irked some government officials, with the State media leading the crusade against Zacc, a supposedly independent body that Mugabe’s spokesperson Charamba now accuses of behaving like a “rattlesnake”.
In light of Charamba’s panicky response, Gutu said, the attack on the anti-corruption exercise showed that officials in the governing party have something to hide.
“The guilty are always afraid,” he said.
The Daily News was the first to break the news about the raids on parastatals last week, before a State weekly reported on the same matter on Sunday.
“I really wished they knew the kind of chaos they triggered in government with the stories they planted through the national press,” Charamba said.
Speaking to the Daily News, Gutu however, said Charamba has no authority to tell Zacc on how to handle its job, including conducting investigations.
“…Charamba has got absolutely no business and/or constitutional mandate to order Zacc who to and who not to investigate.
“The Zacc is an independent constitutional commission that should be left to carry out its duties without any undue and improper interference from the likes of . . . Charamba or indeed, from anyone for that matter,” he said.
He said Charamba must be investigated over his involvement in some of the companies where he was a board member.
“Charamba should just shut up and let Zacc carry on with its constitutional mandate to investigate all issues of corruption,” he said.
Zacc has in the past been accused of being a “toothless bulldog” after failing to record meaningful investigations in a country where corruption is rife.
“All the culprits, no matter who they are, should be promptly brought to book and the stolen funds should also be repatriated to Zimbabwe. It is only when this is done that the nation will sincerely believe that the anti-corruption blitz that was announced a couple of days ago is genuine and not just another façade meant to wood-wink the suffering and toiling masses of Zimbabwe,” said Gutu.