President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s anti-corruption crusade is in jeopardy after Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission bosses came out guns blazing over the alleged politicisation of the graft-busting body.
According to internal Zacc communication seen by The Standard, the commissioner responsible for investigations Goodson Nguni is being accused by fellow commissioners of using Mnangagwa’s name to kill cases and pursue political opponents.
Nguni is even accused of using Zacc to fight his domestic wars after his relationship with one of former first lady Grace Mugabe’s sisters went sour.
The commissioner said Zacc was now facing a litany of lawsuits because of cases bungled by Nguni, who allegedly accuses his colleagues of being members of a Zanu PF faction known as G40.
“Commissioner Nguni has in meetings repeatedly accused other commissioners of being G40 and declaring that he is a Lacoste getting instructions from the highest office in a dispensation where His Excellency the president and commander-in-chief is on record for shunning political factionalism,” reads one of the letters penned by disgruntled commissioners to Zacc chairperson Job Whabira dated March 13, 2018.
“Mr Chairman, we would like also clarifications on what our channel of communication with the Honourable Vice-President [Constantino Chiwenga] is, since we have been notified officially that he is responsible for the commission’s administration.
“We have witnessed with concern that at the commission meeting of Tuesday February 6, 2018 commissioner Nguni informed a full board of commissioners that he was instructed by the highest office to disregard cases, and to put certain cases on hold for a rainy day.
“The commissioner has continued to pursue those cases and we are faced with unchallengeable legal challenges as government has distanced itself from some of those cases.”
The letter was penned soon after a meeting of commissioners where Nguni allegedly claimed he was taking orders from Mnangagwa on who to arrest and not to touch.
The case of University of Zimbabwe vice-chancellor Levy Nyagura, who was arrested for allegedly assisting Grace to acquire her controversial PhD, was cited by the commissioners as one example where Nguni took matters into his own hands.
Nguni threatened to sue all the commissioners for allegedly defaming him.
He denied accusations that he was making unilateral decisions, claiming “all commissioners are members of the investigation committee”.
The revelations about alleged Mnanagwa name dropping follows an announcement by Nguni last week that he was investigating several alleged illicit deals involving the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).
Nguni addressed journalists on his own and other commissioners are distancing themselves from the statement.
He claimed NSSA’s subsidiary, the National Building Society (NBS), was used by former president Robert Mugabe’s relatives to loot public resources.
The commissioners alleged the investigation was being done without their knowledge and they did not know about the media briefing.
The Zacc insiders claimed Nguni, acting alone, on several occasions interviewed NBS top management and NSSA management as well as some board members, seizing documents from the bank, even without an order from a court.
Nguni claimed that the NBS undertook projects worth $78 million without going to tender.
Documents seen by The Standard indicate that Nguni claimed he was carrying out orders from Mnangagwa.
NBS entered into an offtake agreement approved by the NSSA board chaired by fired chairman Robin Vela to construct 10 000 housing units countrywide.
The project was to cost $78 million and the resolution to the same was made in July 2017 when Prisca Mupfumira was still the Labour and Social Welfare minister.
Nguni claimed it was Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao who illegally approved the project.
The sources said the NSSA investigation was linked to Nguni’s failed relationship with Grace’s sister Rose Chidhakwa.
Nguni’s relationship with fellow commissioner Farai Chinyani, who is a daughter of Shuvai Gumbochuma, Grace’s elder sister, is said to be now strained because of the alleged anti-corruption crusade.
Nguni was once challenged to recuse himself on matters involving the former first family due to a conflict of interest.
He reportedly refused to do so claiming that he was even investigating his own brother Sylvester Nguni.
According to NBS, the Dzivarasekwa housing project was not subject to tender processes since it was a private project where the bank was a client to a property developer and not the other way round.
“One cannot go to tender on an independent developer’s land where they have their own development rights,” read part of the responses from the bank.
“The building society can, however, look at one’s project proposal and consider it from an investment point of view, where a due diligence is done on the viability of the project.
The bank also denied Nguni’s other claim that the private developer did not provide surety to NBS before funding was approved.
In the letter to Whabira, the commissioners accused Nguni of clearing some people under investigation “in highly suspicious circumstances” before the dockets had been completed and taken to court by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The commissioners also alleged that Nguni’s conduct was tarnishing the image of the commission, putting it into disrepute resulting in loss of confidence by the public.
Nguni yesterday refused to comment on the matter, saying those making the allegations had something to hide.
“Write what you have. I have no problem with that,” he said.
“I am not surprised because one of the commissioners is a child of one of those fingered.
“We are going to follow evidence, not people. It confirms what some of us know that there are some commissioners who don’t want the arrest of their G40 relatives.”
Former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo also once accused Nguni of fighting Mnangagwa’s political battles after Zacc tried to arrest him for the alleged theft of Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund money.
– The Standard