Graft list divides Zanu PF

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

President Emmerson Mnangagwa was caught by surprise when the Zanu PF youth league released a list of alleged corrupt senior officials, a senior official has claimed amid reports those implicated believe he is behind the suspected witch-hunt.

Zanu PF youth leader Pupurai Togarepi leapt to Mnangagwa’s defence as reports emerged that the list released a fortnight ago has divided the ruling party.
Those implicated, insiders said, believe a lawyer (name withheld) and one of the president’s sons were behind the list.

“First of all, the youth league is an organ of the party, Zanu PF, and does not take instructions from any other person outside the revolutionary party. So to suggest that we take instructions from anyone is not only laughable, but misguided,” Togarepi told The Standard.

“The Zanu PF youth league is a product of the second republic, we are children of the revolution and we adhere forever, faithfully to the founding values of the party.

“We are cut from a different cloth, and do not pander to the whims or caprices of anyone, so that you know, the president was also caught by surprise and that is why he strongly admonished us.”

Mnangagwa promised to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the allegations raised by the youths, but was reportedly unhappy that they went public with the list.

Some of the officials named in the list have threatened the youths with lawsuits and promised to fight back.

Former Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu was one of the top-ranking Zanu PF officials targeted by the youths.

Others were Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya and former football administrator Henrieta Rushwaya. Mangudya is already suing the youth league
officials behind the list.

Togarepi said those claiming that Mnangagwa’s son was behind the list were driven by malice.

“The mention of Emmerson Jnr is obviously driven by malice. We also knew that some would fight back with unprecedented venom,” he said.

“The million dollar question is: Why now? Those who say the youths tried to extort them must also provide admissible evidence.
“This is the ED era and a whole new world compared to the Mugabe era.”

He said the youths were ready to cooperate with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission after its chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo asked them to provide the
anti-graft body with evidence of the alleged corruption.

“Of course, we are ready to cooperate with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission for we are staunch disciples of the rule of law and its due processes,”
Togarepi said.

One of the Zanu PF officials named in the list, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the allegations of corruption were being made by a clique close to
Mnangagwa.

“This lawyer is now acting like a prime minister, he is calling the shots,” said the official. “He is one of the people behind that list.”

There were allegations that Mnangagwa’s son met the Zanu PF youths before the press conference where they released the list.

“We are back to the old Mugabe days and ED is using the same script,” the source said.
“The youth league would make allegations and then the women’s league will join in followed by war veterans.

“Once this is done, your days would be numbered. But as they say, once bitten twice shy, I don’t see this working again.”

The source said some of the targeted officials were being accused of plotting against Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, who is spearheading the government’s
economic reforms.

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