The party’s national executive agreed to set up the commission at a meeting held last Wednesday, at which the party’s economic advisor, Eddie Cross, was summoned after being accused of leaking a story to the Zimbabwe Independent which named three ministers who were said to be under investigation for allegedly engaging in corrupt activities.
Party insiders said Cross told the national executive that he had evidence of corruption involving the three ministers — Energy and Power Development Minister Elias Mudzuri, co-Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa and Mines deputy minister Murisi Zwizwai.
He challenged the party leaders to set up an independent commission to investigate the allegations of corruption and not to sweep the matter under the carpet.
One source said: “Initially, people wanted the debate to focus on who the source of the story was and when the top leadership said it was Eddie Cross, he was then summoned and he categorically stated that he had evidence connecting the ministers to corrupt activities.
“He then asked the national executive why they don’t want to investigate if they are serious about dealing with corruption in the party. He challenged them to institute an independent investigation in the ministers and not just focus on councillors.”
Sources said the meeting then resolved to set up an independent commission, which would not only focus on the three ministers but would include other ministers, legislators and top leaders.
Another source said: “The probe should not only target Zwizwai, Mudzuri and Mutsekwa but should investigate everyone that has engaged in corrupt activities. For sure there will not be any sacred cows and if done professionally, the results might be shocking.”
MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told the Zimbabwe Independent last month that anyone found to be corrupt would face automatic dismissal from the party.
Chamisa could not be reached for comment yesterday as he was out of the country on government business. Party chairperson and also Speaker of House of Assembly Lovemore Moyo declined to comment.
The Independent broke a story last month in which Mudzuri, Mutsekwa and Zwizwai were named as having been under investigation by the party for corrupt activities.
However, this was denied by Chamisa who said there was no committee set up to expressly investigate the three, but said a 13-member probe team had been set up in January to investigate corruption at local government level.
It later emerged that there had been campaigns from within the party to have at least two of them — Mudzuri and Zwizwai — put on the EU sanctions list which contains President Robert Mugabe and about 200 other top Zanu PF officials.
Insiders in the MDC-T believed that infighting gave rise to the allegations that the three were being investigated by the 13-member team led by party deputy secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada.