PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has threatened to unleash the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) to sniff out corrupt elements in all councils led by Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance.
But critics said the clampdown was targeted at Chamisa, who has refused to recognise Mnangagwa’s presidency since the July 2018 disputed poll.
Mnangagwa on Friday told the central committee of his ruling Zanu-PF party that he would soon order “a clean-up” of all corrupt elements in the MDC Alliance dominated local authorities.
This comes as most MDC Alliance-controlled councils have been paralysed following the recall of party councillors by the rival MDC-T faction led by Thokozani Khupe.
Heads have already started rolling at Harare City Council, where Zacc has arrested former mayor Herbert Gomba, several other councillors and managers over illegal land deals.
On Wednesday, the anti-graft body descended on Bulawayo to conduct a similar probe.
“If you look at the City of Harare, the rot is so deep, corruption is so deep and as I have said, the second republic is resolute in fighting corruption,” Mnangagwa said.
“Currently, the rot coming out of Harare is going to be cleaned up. All institutions in the country must remain upright and those who fail to do so, the hand of Zacc will catch up with you.”
He added: “These cities have their own councils running them. They are under the MDC Alliance and they are supposed to be providing service delivery. People are suffering and the people who are suffering are Zimbabweans, the people who are suffering are ZanuPF.”
Mnangagwa said the ruling party was treating the forthcoming by-elections as a rehearsal ahead of the 2023 elections, which he said would be won by his party against the disjointed opposition.
“We have many by-elections that were just created while we were not expecting them. We were just quiet as Zanu-PF minding our own business and they (the MDCs) did what they did, leading to the by-elections. We must now work and participate in the by-elections and grab all the seats,” he said.
The Khupe-led party has recalled 21 MPs and more than 84 councillors aligned to Chamisa and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has already called for by-elections.