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Jonathan Moyo attack those opposed to Salarygate exposés

by Staff reporter
17 Feb 2014 at 14:39hrs | Views
Jonathan Moyo, the Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister, has launched a blistering attack on politicians opposed to the ongoing Salarygate exposés, saying attempts to defend or hide corruption revealed "nothing but unacceptable extensions of the same corruption".

Moyo broke his silence and apparently hit back at Vice President Joice Mujuru after she denounced the corruption crackdown last week saying it was a dirty operation to smear the administration and undermine the country's progress.

Moyo told the Daily News last night that there was absolutely nothing political or sinister about widespread media reports of the shocking corruption which he said took root with the advent of dollarisation in many of the 78 parastatals or State enterprises.

The minister of Information said the individuals against the corruption exposure in the media were doing so "against Zanu-PF policies, against government policies, against the national interest and against the laws of the country".

Mujuru said those behind the investigation were trying to vandalise the party from inside, in apparent reference to Moyo, who is the only Cabinet minister who has appeared to be serious about the fight against corruption.

But Moyo hit back and hailed the media for tackling corruption adding that there was nothing political about exposing corruption.

"The fact of the matter is that corruption is criminal and not political. As such, the important and relevant test is not the motive of those who are exposing it but whether or not the corruption being alleged in the media reports actually took place.

"This is a factual and not a political question."

At an extraordinary politburo meeting on Friday, President Robert Mugabe vowed to pursue corrupt high-flyers after securing an unassailable five-year mandate in the historic July vote, raising expectations that he will tackle graft more forcefully.

Moyo said it was common cause that, from a factual point of view, what has been reported so far by the mainstream media about the so-called Salarygate has been truthful.

"Individual executive managers in parastatals, State enterprises or local authorities have been receiving obscene salaries and allowances without approval of the relevant boards or with the corrupt connivance of chairpersons of those boards which have been dysfunctional," Moyo said.

"Even worse, there's evidence that these executive managers and the conniving chairpersons of some boards have also been colluding with some elements in the private sector to corrupt the procurement process with the result of compromising service delivery while corrupting the prices of goods and services to the detriment of the national economy.

"None of this is political. It is all criminal. Corruption is not revolutionary but it has always been a reactionary assault against the public good and the national interest.

"The culprits behind Salarygate are individuals and the beneficiaries are the same individuals, their families, friends and cronies at the expense of the public given that the parastatals, State enterprises and local authorities in question are supposed to serve the public and not individuals who run these organisations."

Moyo's remarks come in the wake of on-going exposés, one of which involves retired Premier Services Medical Aid Society (Psmas) board chief executive Cuthbert Dube's five-digit earnings - broken down as $92 000 in his Psmas salary and another $138 000 from PSMI, and the nascent Zambian operation.

In the aftermath of the exposé, presidential spokesperson George Charamba and Luxon Zembe have been "touted" as some of the high-earning members at the society, and despite Psmas' $40 million debts.

However, the Psmas board, which comprised three permanent secretaries, Charamba, Constance Chigwamba and Pretty Sunguro, has been dissolved, apparently after intervention from higher offices - or at least the authority which appointed it.

While Finance ministry senior staffer Meisie Namasasu has incurred her employer's wrath over her role in the unravelling saga - following her suspension - the board claims it dissolved itself in shame.

Authorities are said to be pursuing corruption cases at Air Zimbabwe, Zinara, CMED, Rural Electrification Agency (Rea), ZBC and Marange Resources among others.

Three Air Zimbabwe (Private) Limited bosses, Peter Chikumba, 59, Grace Nyaradzai-PFumbidzai, 49 and Innocent Mavhunga, 53, were detained over the weekend in the country's biggest corruption probe since Mugabe swept to power last July.

"...It is not right for anyone to claim that the palpably corrupt and clearly criminal conduct of the offending individuals in the concerned parastatals, State enterprises or local authorities is political in any way," Moyo said.

"It is understandable why some of the individuals who stand exposed for their corruption will seek refuge under the politics of factionalism in Zanu-PF or under any other political pretext and excuse.

"While this predictable stance might fool some among us, the majority of Zimbabweans who are the victims of the Salarygate corruption will not be fooled but will demand full accountability and restitution without fear or favour."

Tensions have grown in recent weeks between protagonists in the ruling Zanu-PF over plans to widen the crackdown which the Mujuru faction claims is targeted at them.

Moyo said attempts to defend or hide the corruption revealed by Salarygate were nothing but unacceptable extensions of the same corruption.

"The first line of attack against corruption is by exposing it," Moyo told the Daily News.

"There's no better way of exposing it in a balanced and factual manner than through the media without engaging in witch hunts or cover ups.

"There just be must be no sacred cows or bulls. Once exposed, corruption must be investigated by relevant law enforcement authorities and prosecutions must follow the cases where prima facie evidence is established."

Source - dailynews