Graft body defies Tomana

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The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) yesterday vowed to defy Attorney-General (AG) Johannes Tomana’s order to stop the arrest of MPs and government officials accused of abusing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Tomana told State media he had issued an order to stop the anti-graft body from arresting MPs accused of converting the $50 000 CDF allocations to their own use pending investigations.

He claimed the move became necessary because the ZACC and the Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs were handling the matter in a “clumsy way”.

But ZACC chairperson Denford Chirindo told journalists the crusade that has already seen the arrest of four MPs from MDC-T and Zanu PF was unstoppable.

“ZACC has noted with great concern several Press reports suggesting that directives had been given to ZACC to stop or hold in abeyance investigations into allegations over the Constituency Development Fund,” he said.

“ZACC will continue to investigate all cases thoroughly, professionally, without fear, favour or prejudice.

“ZACC would like to reiterate unequivocally and unreservedly in terms of its mandate and powers that it will continue to investigate all reports relating to any cases of corruption, theft, misappropriation, abuse of power and other improprieties, including abuse of constituency development funds.”

Tomana also accused the commission of rushing to arrest the MPs before carrying out investigations. The AG claimed the ZACC had congested his office with piecemeal evidence of arrests based on information gathered through newspapers or individuals.

However, Chirindo insisted the commission would continue to effect arrests whether such reports would have emanated from newspapers, individuals, the corporate world or intelligence gathered by his office.

There were accusations that Tomana was trying to forestall the imminent arrests of powerful Zanu PF ministers who also abused the funds.

However, Tomana dismissed the allegation as “awkward”, saying he was not the one carrying out the audits on the use or utilisation of the CDF allocations.