MUTARE – ZANU-PF officials in Manicaland Province accused of extorting money from companies operating in the controversial Chiadzwa diamond fields are unsure about their future in the party amid indications that they might be suspended now that the revolutionary party has secured a mandate to singularly govern the country for the next five years, The Financial Gazette heard this week.
About four months ago, a damning report was handed to the party’s leadership implicating several heavyweights in Manicaland Province to acts of corruption.
The party, according to ZANU-PF insiders, could not take action at the time for fear of widening the divisions and factional fights that erupted in the province ahead of party primary elections held last month.
The divisions reared their ugly head after another report had implicated several party cadres in the siphoning of more than US$700 000 from companies extracting diamonds in Chiadzwa.
This led to the suspension of provincial chairperson, Mike Madiro and his deputy, Dorothy Mabika.
Mabika and Madiro were later to be hauled before the courts on a different charge of stock theft,a charge which they were all acquitted of.
Throughout the trial Mabika and Madiro insisted that the charge was part of a political plot meant to smear their names.
Another report emerged around April, implicating several officials in the party’s Women’s League for allegedly receiving US$75 000 each from the diamond mining companies.
The matter was first brought to light by ZANU-PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa.
Mutasa vouched at the time to expose the corrupt ZANU-PF stalwarts implicated in the report for abusing their authority and using the name of the party to plunder State resources.
Mutasa, considered the Godfather of the province, also indicated that the party’s highest decision making body in between congresses — the Politburo — was to insist on further investigations before taking action on those implicated by the report.
“There are other anonymous reports also implicating our party top members but we can’t ignore this. The Politburo would have to sit over this issue because we have to expose all corrupt members in the party. We would deal with all those implicated. This is not a secret and I don’t condone bad elements, I expose them,” Mutasa had vouched.
Attempts by this paper this week to enquire about the latest developments around the matter hit a brick wall as Mutasa was reluctant to shed more light on the issue.
“I mentioned that issue months back. Why are you making a follow-up now? What is your motive? I won’t say anything,” said Mutasa.
Analysts, however, said the report could be swept under the carpet since ZANU-PF has a tendency of protecting its officials from facing the long arm of the law.
ZANU-PF has widely been accused of failing to rein-in rogue members implicated in corrupt activities.
Admire Mazani, a political analyst, said ZANU-PF might not pursue the matter further because it would dent the image of the party and widen the divisions within its fragile structures.
“ZANU-PF has two issues to worry about here. Firstly, its image and by exposing its members and involving the police again over this issue it would only confirm assertions that the party is a breeding ground for corrupt elements. They are trying to protect the name of the party and in the process providing cover to rogue elements within,” said Mazani.
“Secondly, the reluctance to act on the matter might be to try and maintain stability within the party. It should also be noted that most of these issues were emanating from Mutasa (aligned to the Joice Mujuru faction). In as much as he was trying to expose corrupt officials in the party, he was also using such cases to fight members aligned to the Mnangagwa faction thereby intensifying infighting within the party. It’s most likely that the party’s highest decision making body (Politburo) might have sensed this,” he added.