By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
The main opposition MDC Alliance has demanded an explanation from government as to how the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) operates amid its failure to prosecute President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son, Collins and other top ministers implicated in the Covidgate scandal.
MDC Alliance National spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere speaking at a press conference yesterday said the main opposition party demanded a public, televised inquiry into the Covidgate scandal in which USD 60 million was allegedly stolen in the name of procuring Covid-19 related accessories.
Collins Mnangagwa, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and his Permanent Secretary George Guvamatanga and Health minister Obadiah Moyo were allegedly involved in the scandal.
Collins and controversial businessman Delish Nguwaya (see picture) are the key suspects while the president’s top bodyguard, Valdano Brown, won lucrative contracts to supply Covid-19 equipment to the ministry of health without going through a competitive bidding process.
The two companies allegedly belong to a group of firms owned or controlled by the First Family. Only Nguwaya has been arrested so far, leading Mahere to question the “theatrics”
“As I stated in the past few weeks, Covid-gate has implicated very senior government officials including as I said those at the very very top. And all we see are theatrics, weak investigations and the arrest of the smallest, weakest least powerful fish.
“Why is Obadiah Moyo walking free? Why is George Guvamatanga walking free? Why is Mthuli Ncube walking free? Why is Collins Mnangagwa walking free? Corruption is killing us.
“As the MDC Alliance we make that demand now the looters must pay back the money because corruption is killing us.
“We also demand the strengthening of the National Prosecuting Authority. It should not, in terms of the law be an extension of the President and executive,” Mahere said.
Mahere said in terms of Section 260 of the Constitution, the Prosecutor General must exercise his or her functions impartially and without fear, favour, prejudice or bias. The Prosecutor General is accounted to the public.
The principles by which he or she decides whether to institute and conduct criminal proceedings must be public publicly explained.
“So we demand an explanation as to why top government officials have not been arrested. Is it because the Prosecutor General and some of his officials are housed at Mr Mnangagwa’s office?
“What principles are protecting those at the top? Why are they being allowed to steal with impunity. Yet we see MDC Alliance members who protest simply about hunger, the hunger that is being felt and experienced by 7,7 million Zimbabweans arrested, abducted, tortured and sexually assaulted,” Mahere added.
“Over the past few weeks, we have seen a blatant attempt by the State and its proxies to keep us distracted by side shows masquerading as national issues,” Mahere said.
Mahere said the main opposition party demanded that a public, televised inquiry into the Covidgate scandal be done.
“We are sick and tired of corruption being swept under the carpet and the perpetrators of corruption being exonerated behind closed doors to the detriment of the citizens.
“It is the citizens that pay the price for the looting, so we demand answers. It is the citizens who bear the brunt of the bad governance, so we demand accountability,” Mahere said. Nehanda Radio