Mugabe’s loyalty to corrupt cabinet allies intensifies infighting

November 25, 2006 at 10:32 am Leave a comment

Mugabe’s loyalty to corrupt cabinet allies intensifies infighting

By Tererai Karimakwenda
24 November 2006

Cases of corruption involving top officials within the ruling party are piling up as Robert Mugabe refuses to sanction their arrests. His loyalty to some of them, especially the retired General Solomon Mujuru, has been unquestionable to date. And whatever hold they have over him is strong because his continued protection in the midst of mounting evidence is beginning to tear ZANU-PF to pieces.

Mugabe imprisoned two ministers and several bankers in what seemed to be a blitz after he established an anti-corruption commission last year. But critics and opposition officials dismissed the arrests calling them small fish. They have since maintained that Mugabe is protecting the real culprits, among them his closest allies.

Solomon Mujuru is husband to Vice-President Joyce Mujuru. It is widely believed he made her appointment happen, due to his influence over Mugabe, which dates back to the liberation struggle. But as the battle for who will take over after Mugabe heats up Mujuru’s enemies are pressuring Mugabe to give the order to arrest Mujuru.

According to an extensive report in the Mail & Guardian this week Mujuru’s involvement in illegal forex dealings nets him an estimated Z$40 billion a day! The report says police insiders have dubbed him the “Godfather” of murky foreign currency dealings in Harare. It also says Mujuru has been investigated by the police for flouting exchange control regulations and running illegal shelf companies. Z$40 billion a day is a lot of money. And any government claiming to be fighting corruption would have arrested Mujuru already. But the general is not only free. He continues to add more billions to his stash.

Max Mkandla from Zimbabwe Liberators Voice said Mujuru helped Mugabe to gain influence with the fighters during the liberation war so they have a bond. He said: “The real truth is Mujuru is the most corrupt, uneducated person who has failed to make any meaningful ministerial post in ZANU-PF just because of illiteracy.” Mkandla said Mujuru, who was known as Rex Nhongo during the war, influenced those in the high command of the military forces to accept Mugabe. He believes since then they protect each other and are aware of each other’s dealings. He said Mujuru is actually protecting the first family and the first family is protecting him.

According to the M & G report, police insiders have said no top chef in the Cabinet or ZANU-PF’s politburo can be arrested or prosecuted without a directive from Mugabe. The police and Attorney General are said to adhere to this, but the impunity enjoyed by some is raising eyebrows as the race for Mugabe’s position when he retires intensifies.

Entry filed under: Present, Zimbabwe Politics.

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