President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace have been named among 56 other Zimbabweans - mostly Zanu PF bigwigs –implicated in corrupt activities fleecing the country of billions of dollars at the expense of the general populace.
Mugabe and the Zanu PF elite were also cited for poor leadership practices in the country.
According to a report by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT), a non-governmental organisation established in 2004, the First Family and the top Zanu PF component in the inclusive government were fingered in multi-billion-dollar corrupt activities.
Regional co-ordinator of ACT-Southern Africa Alouis Munyaradzi Chaumba said all the cases should be reopened, investigated and all culprits prosecuted.
“I do not understand why the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Attorney-General’s Office have been consistently refusing to investigate and prosecute senior government officials, their families, friends and associates implicated in corruption.
“The impression created is that they are above the law. All these cases should be investigated or else we are going to compel them to do so through the courts of law,” he said, adding that people implicated should not be allowed to participate in future elections until they were cleared.
But, Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said he needed to see the report first before he could comment on the document.
The report, compiled by studying newspaper reports in post-independence Zimbabwe, examined corrupt activities ranging from the late 1980s Willowgate motor vehicle scandal to the farm mechanisation programme prior to 2008. It also focused on corruption in government entities such as Noczim, Zupco and Grain Marketing Board as well as the War Victims’ Compensation Fund (WVCF).
Mugabe was implicated in the Z$7 billion Harare airport expansion deal in 1999, the report said, while Grace was fingered in the VIP housing project in 1995 when she, alongside top Zanu PF hawks, allegedly grabbed houses meant for low-earning civil servants in the “pay-for your-house scheme”.
Most of the cases, the report states, were not investigated as most enquiries were kept under wraps by the government to allegedly protect corrupt officials.
The President’s case, according to the report, came to light after a Saudi national, Hani Yamani, owner of Air Harbour Technologies (AHT) - a company that Mugabe seconded to win the tender to expand the airport - wrote to him in July 1999 complaining of “excessive kickbacks”.
“Alongside the construction of the airport terminal, AHT funded the construction of a private residence for President Mugabe. Furthermore, Yamani donated $50 000 to Zanu PF and made payments to two senior Cabinet ministers,” the report reads.
Grace is also fingered in alleged illegal diamond deals together with Vice-President Joice Mujuru, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and Mines minister Obert Mpofu. newsday