PUBLIC Service minister Sekai Nzenza, who had reportedly gone underground to escape the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) dragnet over the looting of $96,5 million from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) coffers, has surfaced in her constituency in Chikomba.
Nzenza’s predecessor and now Tourism minister Priscah Mupfumira was arrested by Zacc on Thursday last week over NSSA corruption allegations.
Mupfumira was arraigned before the courts facing seven counts of criminal abuse of office and remanded in custody for 21 days.
Information permanent secretary Ndabaningi Mangwana posted on his official Twitter handle account that the minister was “safe and sound” and in her constituency in Chikomba.
“Having a lot of media enquiries around the whereabouts of minister Sekai Nzenza. I have spoken to her and she assures the nation that she is in her constituency in Chikomba East and not on the run from anything or anyone and used strong terms to dismiss the circulating rumours,” he said.
Nzenza told The Herald yesterday that she was in Chikomba over the weekend.
“Good morning Africa (Moyo). Am in my rural village. Will send you photos soon,” said Minister Nzenza through WhatsApp platform when asked about her whereabouts.
She later sent a picture of her, in a vegetable garden with a number of other women.
Firebrand Norton legislator Temba Mliswa sensationally claimed that Nzenza was in hiding fearing arrest.
Mliswa, in a tweet last week, claimed that: “Minister Sekai Nzenza is on the run after it emerged that she also received the NSSA loot to cover for Mupfumira. Mupfumira bought a house for Nzenza in Cape Town.”
Nzenza has been under fire for trying to keep the NSSA audit report under wraps.
The explosive findings allegedly implicate other ministers, NSSA executives and top business people in the NSSA looting saga.
Legislators, mostly from the opposition MDC, have demanded that Nzenza be charged with contempt of Parliament for refusing to table the forensic audit.
However, Nzenza has defended her position, saying the audit report will be ready for tabling after consultations concerning four major critical areas that needed to be “unpacked by experts”.
Speaking recently in Marondera, Nzenza told a Zanu PF gathering that the report would be made available at the end of this month.
“The delays are a result of certain things that needed to be unpacked by experts, hence the report is being examined and scrutinised by these experts in various areas unearthed by the audit. This is critical in that the ministry will come up with a comprehensive document as well as adopting some measures to handle NSSA interests that is as far as recovery proceedings or criminal action is concerned,” Nzenza said.
Meanwhile, Mangwana has said Nzenza will address members of the media today and clarify the matter.
“She will issue a statement and take questions,” he said.