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Is July Moyo new face of corruption?

25 Jun 2022 at 19:10hrs | Views
THE government has willfully violated the country's constitution by abusing devolution funds without the required legislation amid fears that the abuse of millions of dollars meant for other services in local authorities fronted by Local Government minister July Moyo is a dent on President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration.

Moyo has been implicated in controversial multi-million-dollar transactions reflecting badly on Zanu-PF as a corrupt party ahead of the 2023 general elections and setting it up against the electorate.

Moyo has been at the centre of controversy in multi-million-dollar deals that have seen residents castigating the government and Zanu-PF, saying the party is superintending over corruption cases while folding their hands as the party secretary for transport is implicated in alleged abuse of office.

The Local Government minister is implicated in attempts to arm-twist Harare City Council into embracing the US$400 million Pomona deal that has been challenged by residents and other stakeholders.

This week, Moyo again came under fire over the directive to all local authorities to purchase, without going to tender, fire engines at an inflated price of US$464 296 in a deal that will see the Belarusian businessman Alexander Zingman, Zimbabwe's honorary consul in Minsk, receiving over US$61 million.

Zingman has strong links to Mnangagwa and has business interests in and outside Zimbabwe, with most of them classified as dodgy.

While Moyo's name features prominently in the deal, there have also been accusations of him inflating prices of water pumps meant for Harare.

Moyo has not spoken on the allegations mainly raised by Norton member of the National Assembly Temba Mliswa.

"I have been saying July Moyo is destroying this government and the country through corruption and you all thought it's just politics," Mliswa said.

"What do you say about this fire trucks deal now?" Mliswa asked rhetorically.

Analyst Blessing Vava said Moyo has been a disaster in the years he has been in government and his behaviour reflects the government's corrupt tendencies.

"July Moyo has been a disaster and a very corrupt minister who is habouring presidential ambitions and is trying to consolidate his power base within government through the control of local authorities," Vava said.

"But also he is just a representation of the whole government's corrupt record which has reached alarming levels. They are running the state coffers dry through primitive accumulation which however is a sign that their days could be numbered," he added.

Local government expert Sessel Zvidzai said local authorities were faced with serious problems, including potable water, passable roads, refuse collection, among other issues, hence the government's use of force to have them acquire fire engines was diabolic.

"What is important is water provision, refuse removal and roads. The minister and his team cannot force their wishes on councils. One needs to go through tender processes for such and I don't think anyone went to Belarus for such processes," Zvidzai said.

"He is actually worse than [Ignatius] Chombo. At least Chombo was sly in his corruption, this one is not."

"What is the use of buying fire engines even for rural district councils?

"Devolution gives councils freedom of administration and priorities and what July Moyo is doing is infringing on such. Councils should just refuse to buy those things and make sure it is government banditry and no one should prioritise this theft," the former Gweru mayor and ex-Local Government deputy minister told The NewsHawks.

"Citizens must begin to wake up and smell the coffee. We can't allow this glaring theft. It is now a citizen issue and we must resist corruption."

Harare Residents Trust (HRT) said the government is violating the constitution of Zimbabwe by directing local authorities to receive unsolicited fire tenders from Belarus without the involvement of the local authorities and ratepayers.

"Devolution funds should be disbursed to local authorities and the local authorities should decide how they want to utilise them in liaison with their ratepayers. One thing that is very clear is that the fire tenders are very expensive, which makes them unaffordable to local authorities," the HRT said.

"The question is: Who is benefiting from such an arrangement? It is not local authorities. It is definitely not the whole government involved in these opaque deals. This can only be a few corrupt individuals who do not understand how devolution works."

The HRT said residents in Harare, Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Epworth should reject the deal.

According to the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), the directive was an attack on devolution and should be stopped.

"CHRA condemns the attack on devolution and local democracy through numerous exploitative directives from the minister responsible for Local Government to local authorities which are related to procurement using devolution funds."

"This is a clear violation of section 264 on devolution in the constitution of Zimbabwe. This micro-managing of local authorities by government is a threat to local democracy and unacceptable," CHRA said in a statement.

Source - thenewshawks
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