Call to probe Ka­sukuwere

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Zva­maida Mur­wira Harare Bureau

THE Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice, Zim­babwe An­ti­Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion and the Au­di­tor Gen­eral should move in to in­ves­ti­gate Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter Saviour Ka­sukuwere over pos­si­ble abuse of of­fice and mis­lead­ing Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe about a $50 mil­lion pledge os­ten­si­bly made by Chi­adzwa di­a­mond firms to­wards the Marange-Zimunya Com­mu­nity Share Own­er­ship Trust, leg­is­la­tors have said.

The par­lia­men­tary port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on Youth, In­di­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment chaired by Gokwe Nem­budziya MP Cde Jus­tice Mayor Wadya­jena rec­om­mended that Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe should es­tab­lish a com­mis­sion of en­quiry led by a High Court judge to in­ves­ti­gate the “in­tri­cate web of de­ceit,” by Min­is­ter Ka­sukuwere when he was still Min­is­ter of Youth Devel­op­ment, In­di­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment.

The com­mit­tee’s report was tabled yes­ter­day fol­low­ing more than two years of in­quiry that en­tailed hold­ing meet­ings with other Cab­i­net Min­is­ters, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of di­a­mond firms, Marange com­mu­ni­ties among oth­ers.

In tabling the report, Cde Wadya­jena said it was im­por­tant to note that his com­mit­tee com­prised of 30 leg­is­la­tors, 21 of whom were from Zanu-PF while oth­ers were from MDC-T.

The report noted that Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe was made to pre­side over the launch of the trust in Marange where he was pre­sented a dummy cheque of $1,5 mil­lion pur­port­edly com­ing from one of the di­a­mond firms when no agree­ment had been reached be­tween the con­cerned com­pa­nies. Nei­ther were there doc­u­ments show­ing such a con­sen­sus.

“With the find­ings of this in­quiry re­veal­ing clear de­cep­tion bor­der­ing on crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice, the com­mit­tee calls upon the ZRP, ZACC, the Au­di­tor Gen­eral and all rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties to in­sti­tute for­mal pro­ceed­ings within 14 days from the adop­tion of this report to in­ves­ti­gate the con­duct of Honourable Min­is­ter Ka­sukuwere, of­fi­cials from the Min­istry of Youth, In­di­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment, Na­tional In­di­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment Board as well as the re­spect ac­corded to the Pres­i­dent and the chiefs in the area as re­flected by the state­ments made by the vil­lagers,” said Cde Wadya­jena while pre­sent­ing the report.

“The com­mit­tee fur­ther rec­om­mends that the Pres­i­dent, H E Cde RG Mu­gabe es­tab­lishes a com­mis­sion of in­quiry led by a judge or any other suit­able can­di­date to in­ves­ti­gate the in­tri­cate web of de­ceit, cor­rup­tion and fraud related to the es­tab­lish­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the trust. Fur­ther, that par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion must be paid to a likely covert strat­egy meant to dis­credit and ma­lign the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent.”

Cde Wadya­jena said all Cab­i­net Min­is­ters they in­ter­viewed who in­cluded Cde Fran­cis Nhema, Mines and Min­ing Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Wal­ter Chid­hakwa, his pre­de­ces­sor Dr Obert Mpofu, the then Man­i­ca­land Gov­er­nor Cde Christo­pher Mushohwe and di­a­mond min­ing firms, pro­fessed ig­no­rance about the ex­is­tence of an agree­ment of $50 mil­lion pledge nei­ther was there any doc­u­men­ta­tion to that ef­fect.

“The com­mit­tee is per­suaded to con­clude that the di­a­mond min­ing com­pa­nies never at any point pledged the $10 mil­lion apiece and the na­tion was mis­led by Hon Min­is­ter Ka­sukuwere. There re­mains nei­ther a clear pa­per trail nor recorded min­utes be­tween of­fi­cials from the di­a­mond min­ing com­pa­nies and the Min­istry of Youth, In­di­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment,” said Cde Wadya­jena.

Be­fore the pre­sen­ta­tion was made, there was a heated ar­gu­ment be­tween leg­is­la­tors on one hand and Deputy Speaker of the Na­tional As­sem­bly Cde Ma­bel Chi­nomona and Clerk of Par­lia­ment Mr Kennedy Chokuda after the lat­ter stopped the report’s pre­sen­ta­tion ar­gu­ing that the Speaker of the Na­tional As­sem­bly, Ad­vo­cate Ja­cob Mu­denda wanted to go through it first.

Buhera South MP Cde Joseph Chino­timba (Zanu-PF) said at­tempts to stop re­ports de­tail­ing cor­rup­tion was the ba­sis upon which peo­ple cre­ated the per­cep­tion that Zanu-PF was cov­er­ing up the vice.

“Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe and Zanu-PF do not con­done cor­rup­tion. You do not need to stop a process just be­cause it im­pli­cates se­nior Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials. Madam Speaker, peo­ple did not go to war so that one per­son would en­joy the wealth of this coun­try. Re­cently, the leader of Gov­ern­ment busi­ness in this House (Vice Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa) told this House that no one was above the law. Zanu-PF has been ac­cused of pro­tect­ing peo­ple. If Chino­timba com­mits a crime, he should be ar­rested. The Zim­babwe Na­tional Army has since weighed in to say cor­rup­tion is now a cancer,” said Cde Chino­timba.

Cde Chi­nomona later al­lowed the report to be tabled say­ing she was not aware that Adv Mu­denda had since gone through it and cleared it.

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