Mnangagwa too compromised to fight corruption: Legislator
BINGA North legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda (pictured) says President Emmerson Mnangagwa cannot fight corruption because he is compromised by vested interests of his family’s corrupt business undertakings conducted with impunity.
Sibanda made the remarks in Parliament yesterday.
He made the remarks in Parliament on Wednesday while contributing to a debate on Mnangagwa’s last State of the Nation Address (Sona).
“Mr Speaker Sir, then when it comes to mining, contrary to the promises that were made in the State of Nation Address, leakages and smuggling has actually increased in this country between the time when the President was speaking and now,” Sibanda said.
“What is most worrying is that the people that are mostly involved in this smuggling of precious minerals from this country are people that are close to his inner circle, including his own children.
“Hon Speaker, we cannot talk of corruption and the President cannot really stand up and say I am talking about corruption and that I am going to curb corruption when as I speak currently, there is an ongoing case of corruption in Victoria Falls that involves one of the sons of the President where he intends to forcefully possess a piece of land that has been under the lease of an internationally renowned and operating tourism company.
“Hon Speaker, our fear is that when corruption is coming from the First Family and when corruption is coming as if it is impunity, investors will shun investing in this economy,” said MP Sibanda.
At that point, temporary Speaker William Mutomba interjected and asked the legislator if he was sure of what he saying.
“Order Hon Sibanda, what you are debating or raising, are you pretty sure that the son that you are talking about is the son to the President or it is similarity of names?” said the temporary Speaker.
However, Sibanda stood his ground.
“Hon Speaker, for avoidance of doubt, I am a legal practitioner, a registered one, so I am aware of what I am talking about. I am not speculating and I am sure what I am saying is on record …”, he said.
The legislator was again deterred from continuing with his reference to the First Family’s corruption on the basis that the Victoria Falls case in which he implicated Mnangagwa’s son was before the courts, but he argued further: “No, the one that I am talking about is not before the court. I am talking about a case in which an internationally renowned tourism company is being dispossessed of its land by a son of the President who gave this State of the Nation Address. I am saying there is no investment that can come in a country that has got corruption.”
Earlier, legislator for Norton Temba Mliswa had also told the National Assembly that Mnangagwa during his Sona did not strongly speak against corruption.
“The issue of corruption was not hit hard in the Sona, yet it has become cancerous. Corruption has become more dangerous than sanctions.”
“In fact, we have lived with sanctions, which are now our friends. We now know how to go around them, but corruption is constantly being taken to different levels. So, the issue of corruption, the illicit flows which are there, the drugs which you are talking about, the mutoriro and guka is corruption. Who is bringing them in? A society is dying because of that and the issue of drugs was very important at the end of the day,” he said.
In December last year, the United States government announced sanctions against one of Mnangagwa’s sons, Emmerson Mnangagwa Jr, accusing him of corruption, together with businessman Kuda Tagwirei’s wife Sandra Mpunga, as well as Sakunda Holdings’ chief marketing and public relations officer Nqobile Magwizi and Obey Chimuka.
The First Family has also been implicated in corruption around sectors such as mining and procurement.
In 2020, the First Family’s ally Dellish Nguwaya was caught up in a US$60 million scandal that became known as Draxgate in which he allegedly faked papers to get a tender for medical supplies.
The First Family was also implicated in a case in which Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya was caught at Robert Mugabe International Airport trying to smuggle six kilogrammes of gold to Dubai.
Gift Karanda, an accomplice in the case, was quoted in a leaked police memo as alleging that the gold belonged to First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa and her son Collins.
Mnangagwa is also close to Zimbabwe’s honorary consul to Belarus, Alexander Zingman, who is implicated in a trail of murky deals in Zimbabwe through his company Aftrade, which recently clinched trade agreements with the government after benefitting from other deals in mining and machinery supply.
Some of the estimated 10 000 miners in Mberengwa who were scrambling for lithium ore at Sandawana Mine were captured on audio recordings accusing an unnamed son of the First Family for having looted thousands of tonnes of their raw minerals.
A few days later, Beitbridge Border Post officials intercepted a consignment of lithium ore on three haulage trucks belonging to one Bernard Tafadzwa Mnangagwa.
This was after the government banned exports of raw lithium with immediate effect in an effort to promote value addition of minerals and support local production and employment creation.
The ban was effected through Statutory Instrument 213 of 2022 titled Base Mineral Export Control (Unbeneficiated Lithium Bearing Ores) Order, 2022.