Govt to name and shame looters

HARARE - Government will name and shame individuals and corporates that externalised hard currency if they do not take advantage of the three-month window during which they must return the loot.

On November 28, President Emmerson Mnangagwa opened a three-month amnesty for the return of public funds illegally stashed abroad by individuals and companies.

He said upon the expiration of the amnesty at end of February 2018, government will arrest and prosecute those who would have failed to comply.

In his welcome remarks to the Zanu PF central committee meeting yesterday, Mnangagwa vowed to come down hard on corruption and threatened to expose top officials involved in foreign currency externalisation.

“When I gave the three-month moratorium about those who externalised money I did not say so without knowledge,” he warned.

“I have a list of those that did that and if they do not return the money in three months, then in March I am going to name and shame them”.

Mnangagwa called on his government to redouble its efforts in ensuring productivity in all sectors of the economy and create jobs.

“We will not be able to accomplish much for as long as our sense of party work remains hidebound in the old template of looking at Zanu PF as about politics and politics only. Let us recognise that the best politics emerge from the marketplace where livelihoods are made,” he said.

He also emphasised that general elections will be held next year as scheduled, promising that unlike in previous seasons, this time around the outcome will not be disputed.

Said Mnangagwa: “As I have already announced, harmonised general elections will be held in 2018 –

as scheduled. Government will do all its powers to ensure that these elections are credible, free and fair”.

Meanwhile, today’s Zanu PF extraordinary congress will be nothing but a charade as no elections will be held to choose new leaders except to confirm Mnangagwa as first secretary and president of the ruling party.

Until 2014, Zanu PF provinces used to vote for the party’s vice presidents and national chairperson before former president Robert Mugabe tinkered with the party constitution to starve off potential threats to his throne.

At the 2014 congress, Mugabe secured imperial powers whereby only his position was contested for while the rest were filled through his direct appointments.

With Mugabe gone, expectations were that his successor would democratise the party by allowing members to vote for top office holders.

At its central committee meeting of November 19, Zanu PF had raised these hopes by resolving to amend its constitution to “remove any notion of one-centre of power”.

But Mnangagwa shocked all and sundry when he announced yesterday that he shall be appointing his lieutenants.

“Lest there may be confusion, may I point out that the extraordinary congress we are set to have tomorrow (today) is not an elective one in respect of the central committee and all other organs of the party,” Mnangagwa said.

“The congress will therefore extend the tenure of these current central committee members, which would have ordinarily expired in 2019, by another five years.

“This means that luckily, you here now stand to serve the party for another five more uninterrupted years until next congress, which falls due in 2022.

“I hope this clarification allays all the anxieties and stops the jostling that had begun to negatively affect the party,” he said, adding that provinces will be allowed to fill existing vacancies.

Mnangagwa will today announce the new leadership of the Zanu PF youth and women’s leagues “which were the greatest victims of the counterrevolutionaries who had captured the party.”

At its congress three years ago, Zanu PF inserted a clause in its constitution to allow Mugabe who was then president and first secretary to handpick his top lieutenants.

The clause made it easy for the 93 year-old despot to get rid of former vice president Joice Mujuru who had become too influential in Zanu PF.

Mnangagwa who was party’s secretary for legal affairs at the time participated in the crafting of the clause, which gave his predecessor the powers he ironically used to fire him last month.

This was before Mnangagwa dramatically bounced back into the party and government with the help of the military, to dislodge one of Africa’s longest serving statesmen from the seat of power.