Zanu PF MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena’s US$5 million fraud saga latest: Divisions rock ZACC

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ZANU PF yesterday expressed fears that Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena’s US$5,8 million fraud charge may cost the ruling party dearly in today’s by-election set for Gokwe-Kabuyuni.

The seat fell vacant after the death of Zanu PF legislator Leonard Chikomba in a car accident.

Zanu PF and the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) have emerged as front-runners in the by-election.

Addressing a Press conference in the capital yesterday, Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa indirectly threw Wadyajena under the bus and said the fraud case had a bearing on the vote outcome.

Wadyajena faces fraud and money-laundering charges involving US$5,8 million.

He is charged alongside his accomplices, Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) managing director Pious Manamike, marketing manager Maxmore Njanji, Fortunate Molai also of Cottco and Chiedza Danha, director for Pierpont Moncroix Mauritius.

They were granted $200 000 bail each last week and remanded to September 8, 2022.

“… always accepting some of the shortcomings and correcting them like what’s happening now in Cottco is what the government is working on and it has a bearing on voters, especially in that area. We need Cottco to be properly run as a business entity so that people who farm are paid in time and their money doesn’t depreciate,” Mutsvangwa said.

“Our teams are busy on the ground. The politburo appealed to the people in Gokwe to campaign and vote quietly. We want the people of Kabuyuni to vote peacefully and decide who they want to represent them.”

Meanwhile, divisions have rocked the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) amid reports of attempts to tamper with evidence implicating Wadyajena.

Internal fights within Zacc reportedly forced the anti-corruption entity to make a U-turn in its earlier public alert that was posted on its Twitter handle, where it was claiming that evidence against Wadyajena was overwhelming.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Zacc had implored the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe to do “justice” to the case.

The tweet was immediately deleted and reposted several times since being initially posted on Thursday afternoon, before it was permanently deleted yesterday.

Zacc insiders told NewsDay Weekender that there were divided opinions on how to deal with Wadyajena’s case amid claims that some “outsiders within government” were plotting to tamper with the evidence against the youthful legislator.

“Some senior government officials gave a directive for Zacc to alert the public on the need for Wadyajena to face the wrath of the law, a decision challenged by others,” a source within Zacc said on condition of anonymity.

Zacc spokesperson John Makamure unwittingly confirmed the infighting on Thursday night saying an individual within the organisation had posted the statement without authorisation from superiors.

“This is an internal matter which needs not to be publicised. Whoever uploaded the statement on our Twitter handle did so without authority from the superiors. The statement does not represent the position of Zacc as an institution,” Makamure said then.

Efforts to get a comment from him yesterday were in vain as he was not picking calls.

Zacc chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said she was at a funeral when NewsDay Weekender contacted her for comment.

“I am at a funeral,” she said. “You can call me later.”

— NewsDay


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