We will punish looters: Mugabe

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe says decisive action will be taken against parastatal bosses fingered in corruption.

Yesterday, Mugabe convened an extra-ordinary politburo meeting at Zanu PF headquarters with three main issues on the agenda — corruption, controversy surrounding the Midlands provincial elections and the floods caused by torrential rains in Masvingo.

The meeting started at 10am and ran well into the night. Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo delivered Mugabe’s take on corruption to journalists camped outside the boardroom.

Corruption appears to have created discord in Zanu PF with Mugabe’s deputy, Joice Mujuru claiming there was a sinister hand behind the startling revelations of obscene salaries that bosses at State-owned companies and municipalities are earning.

On the other hand, the minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Jonathan Moyo has tapped into concerns in the ruling party about the money gobbled by perennially loss-making State companies and said corruption was “allegedly rampant among the 78 parastatals and State enterprises and the 92 local authorities in the country”.

Since the explosion of the salaries scandal — now dubbed Salarygate — Mugabe and the politburo, Zanu PF highest decision-making body outside congress, had not made an official position.

“The President was very, very strong against corruption,” Gumbo told reporters.

“He indicated that the problem had to be identified first and we had to do something about it but first we should establish the facts. The president said decisive action would be taken against those found to be corrupt.”

The scandal has sucked into its vortex the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), the Public Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas,) the State-run health insurer for civil servants and the Harare City Council, where the top brass were earning obscene salaries while workers wallowed in poverty.

Mugabe’s take on corruption resonates with Mujuru’s stance that due process should be taken before jumping to conclusions on corruption.

Last Saturday, in thinly-veiled remarks seen as targeted at Moyo, who has been spearheading an anti-graft campaign especially at ZBC that has won kudos from many Zimbabweans, Mujuru said this was a campaign meant to ensure the party implodes.

Similarly, Gumbo said the party’s president Mugabe is of the view that corruption has to be curbed in all sectors.

“We also identified that corruption is not only in parastatals but also widespread in the private sector,” said Gumbo, adding that people should let the law take its course.

However, the extra-ordinary meeting, according to Gumbo, did not make binding resolutions but only deliberated on the issue.

Outrageous salaries of heads of parastatals unearthed by the media have touched off a storm which has intensified factional fighting within Zanu PF.

Gumbo said Zanu PF spent most of its time yesterday discussing the party’s Midlands provincial executive, which is currently on the verge of collapse owing to deepening factionalism.

Commenting on the thorny issue, Gumbo said the politburo concluded that the election results for the province stand — yet another victory for Mujuru — who trounced her bitter rival Emmerson Mnangagwa in the province.

Comments (6)

What a joke, if Mugabe is so serious about getting rid of corruption then he should resign today. He is the head of the ministry of corruption. For Christ sakes who are we trying to fool here. NO where on this planet has there ever been such a bunch of AAS HOLES as this current government . MY GOD when are we the people,15 to 18 million of us going to wake up and get rid of this rotton lot.

ronaldos - 16 February 2014

Im real confused here. what more facts does Mugabe need? He was the one who named Masimirembwa as one fo the numerous corrupt people.Charamba, his spokesman has admitted that he looted PSMAS funds.What more evidence does he wants?

jonathiel moyowaonda - 16 February 2014

politicians forget that they are being elected by the people for the people. does anybody know the meaning of this. this whole salary scandal has nothing to do with politics it is just wrong. what is wrong is wrong simple. state a fair salary for those being in charge and make sure that everybody else also gets paid. it is unacceptable that a CEo gets a huge salary for himself and does not care that his subordinates are going home for months without a basic salary and he has the face to say he is a good man. what a joke. make laws which are protecting the people because they are only remembered when elections come as soon as they are gone we are back to the same old story.

theo - 17 February 2014

Punish yourself silly old goat! You are the commander in thief. You and Garce have stolen way too much. If there is anyone to be punished, it must start with you selfish old mubrantyre! nxa!

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Kachembere kekwaChivi - 17 February 2014

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