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Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye: ED Mnangagwa : Simply the archbishop of looting and corruption in Zimbabwe

By Luke Tamborinyoka

Last week, after a frenzied moment of media glare in which their monumental corruption was exposed, corruption barons Ken Sharpe and Kuda Tagwireyi rushed to State House for succour and sanatorium as they purported to be making donations to alleviate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on a despondent nation. That they quickly rushed for photo opportunities with Mnangagwa as they pretended to be donating to a citizenry from whom they have stolen was just but a poor public relations stunt which only served to expose who their godfather was.

Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye with Luke Batsirai Tamborinyoka
Luke-ing the Beast in the Eye with Luke Batsirai Tamborinyoka

Mr Mnangagwa is the real granddad of corruption in this country. Tagwireyi, Sharpe and many others may be deacons in this unmitigated looting spree but there is only one archbishop. And it is none other than Emmerson Mnangagwa. In fact, it can even be convincingly argued that he is the Pope of this satanic church where the wicked gospel is looting, avarice and sleaze.

For starters, it was a PR disaster for a President, even an illegitimate one who stole an election, to be photographed with this tainted lot whose vast wealth has been confirmed to be a result of shady deals and corruption involving the President himself. A prudent leader is never photographed with a nefarious lot from the cruel underworld—– unless he is a citizen of the same underworld himself. For Tagwireyi and Sharpe, their measly donations will not in any way cleanse their tainted names. Their PR effort was a grossly inadequate response given the magnitude of the pitch-dark taint around their names, much like a boisterous fart that is hoped to douse a raging flame.

But then Mnangagwa’s poor image minders inadvertently let the cat out of the bag by allowing their equally tainted boss to be photographed with this infamous lot. A PR practitioner of average competence would have known the consequence of exposing to the world a smiling President sequentially accompanied by this murky lot from the criminal underworld. The optics of Mnangagwa in the company of these controversial men simply confirm that they are birds of the same feather with the President and that he acknowledges their nefarious business enterprises. Dzinofura nzivani as they say in the Shona proverb. Indeed, trees of the same height exchange monkeys!

But then what could one expect from an image minder of the calibre of George Charamba, himself a corrupt goon who has yet to account for and return the over US $200 000 that he looted from the Public Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS). Mnangagwa’s image guardian angel is himself corrupt, just like the boss.

Mnangagwa’s unbridled acts of corruption are a matter of public record. He has looted diamonds in the DRC and in Zimbabwe, his political acts of corruption have seen him villagising both the party and government by appointing cronies, kinsmen and kinswomen mainly from his Karanga tribe to strategic positions. He has also used State resources to purchase cheap political souls so that they transact surrogate politics for his own parochial and selfish interest.

Mnangagwa’s mother is a Mamoyo and only this week, we learnt that he is seriously considering his maternal relative Thomas Moyo, the military general currently in charge of the Military Intelligence Department (MID) to take over as army commander.

In March this year, this column published a comprehensive list of over 30 names of Mnangagwa’s cronies, allies, tribesmen and blood relatives that he has appointed to strategic positions in the party and government. That unto itself is a crude act of corruption!

This week, I publish selected snippets from previous columns that show that Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa is the archbishop of corruption. Anyone else is a sideshow. It is Mnangagwa himself that is the true beast that ought to be “Luke-d” in the eye if we are to decisively deal with corruption in the country. I will conclude by stating unequivocally that only a new government will provide us with herd immunity against the massive corruption now at the epicentre of the national rot.

Mnangagwa’s tenuous record of corruption .

They say a fish rots from the head. It all starts at the very apex of the national leadership of this country.

We all heard the shrill noises and the strong denials of the litany of corruption allegations implicating Mnangagwa and his family. Both the family and the Presidency claimed Mnangagwa and his family were just but victims of an avaricious, name-dropping criminal elite. And yet the facts on the ground spoke to the active involvement of Mnangagwa’s office and family. Take for example the case of 6 kilograms of gold bullion found on Henrietta Rushwaya, a Mnangagwa relative, at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport. Just how do you absolve Mnangagwa in a case that sucks in his wife, his son Collins and his close security team that includes Stephen Tserayi, Gift Karanda and Rafius Mupandauya? Just who would have the guts to needlessly name-drop figures in the First Family when they are aware of the grievous consequences that could befall them, especially given ED’s malignant character and his infamously blood-soaked legacy?

In any case, how does one name-drop a name that is already wallowing on the canvas? For name-dropping assumes the name had some height of honesty in the first place.

Perhaps the biggest indictment and confirmation of Mnangagwa as the archbishop of corruption is the UN Report on the Plundering of the Democratic Republic of the Congo natural resources, a report done by the United Nations Panel of Experts (S/2002/1146). The report names what it calls ” an elite network ” of politicians that was at the epicentre of the plundering of the resources of the DRC.

Named in the report are Emmerson Mnangagwa, then the Speaker of Parliament as well as Sibusiso Buso Moyo, a military man who was then the director-general of COSLEG, a Congo-Zimbabwe Joint Stock Company that was the vehicle of the military-backed commerce involving mostly diamonds, banking and timber in the government-backed areas. The report also named Air Marshall Perrence Shiri, later to be appointed Minister of Agriculture and Rural Resettlement after the coup of November 2017.

The damming report reads in part:

” The key strategist of the Zimbabwe branch of the elite network is the Speaker of Parliament and former National Security Minister Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa …… A long-time ally of President Mugabe , Air Marshall Perrence Shiri has been involved in military procurement and organising air support for the pro-Kinshasa armed groups fighting in the Eastern DRC ….. Other prominent members of the elite network include brigadier-General Sibusiso Busi Moyo who is director-general of COSLEG . Brigadier Moyo advised both Tremalt and Oryx Natural Resources which represented Zimbabwean military and financial interests in negotiations with State mining companies of the DRC . ”

Given this association in what the UN alleges to be criminal activities in the DRC some 20 or so years ago, it is no wonder that Mnangagwa picked Moyo to be the Minister of Foreign Affairs in his Cabinet after the coup of November 2017. This is the same Moyo who became a news anchor overnight and announced the military take-over on State radio and television in the last hours of Mugabe’s reign. It all amounted to a regrouping of a corrupt cabal.

If one adds other shadowy characters named in the report—personalities that are friends with Mnangagwa, among them Ahmed Said Thamer al Shanfari and the late John Arnold Bredenkamp, then the criminal elite becomes a full cast!

The same UN report also implicates the then Minister of Defence Sydney Sekeramayi. The report states that it was Sekeramayi who wrote a memorandum to Mugabe in August 2002 proposing that a joint company between the ZDF and the DRC be set up in Mauritius to disguise the nefarious and highly corrupt military activities in the Congo. Given the revelations in the report and his role, it is by no means surprising that despite being touted as the G40 Presidential candidate after Mugabe, Sekeramayi has been spared any form of reprisals by the criminal elite now running government. He is one of them. Sekeramayi, who sits in Mnangagwa’s politburo, remains a troublesome but delicate irritant, more like a mosquito perched on the scrotum. You have to be careful how you squash it or else you injure yourself. Sekeramayi simply knows a lot.

Electoral corruption is one of Mr Mnangagwa’s area of expertise. Even before his much-vaunted electoral heist in 2018, Mnangagwa had done it before. It must not be forgotten that while Mugabe was holding a press conference at State House on Friday, 30 July 2013, exactly eight years ago to the day and on the eve of the 2013 election, it was Mnangagwa who pitched up on the State House lawn accompanied by none other than Emmanuel Antebbi. Antebbi was the chief executive of Nikuv International, the Israeli company at the centre of the pilferage of the people’s will in Zimbabwe’s 2013 plebiscite. Mnangagwa was equally the archbishop of that huge electoral heist, having commanded the surreptitious payments to Nikuv International.

Conclusion

The nation can rant and rave about corruption in the country, naming this or that individual but the key player in corruption has always been Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Tagwirei may have a finger on every pie; he may be the country’s de facto Prime Minister but the kingpin, nay the archbishop of corruption, has always been Emmerson Mnangagwa.

It only took this our crude and corrupt man to take away the ancestral land of the Shangani people in Chiredzi to parcel it out to a Kwekwe friend of his, Neville Coetzee so he could grow lucerne grass for his dairy cows. He has now appointed the corrupt Phillip Chiyangwa to head his party’s six member fund-raising committee ahead of the Zanu-PF 2023 election campaign; the same Chiyangwa who the Justice Tendai Uchena land probe committee said should be investigated by the police for his shady land deals. This is the corrupt lot that Mnangagwa keeps within the magnetic field of his stolen Presidential tenure.

And now he has doled out plush Mercs to comedians so that they can win the social media war for him. Yes, comedians are now part of his campaign team. And yet the corruption associated with him is no laughing matter.

There is no guessing as to who is the granddad and archbishop of corruption in Zimbabwe.

It’s Mnangagwa stupid!

Luke Tamborinyoka is the Deputy Secretary for Presidential Affairs in the MDC Alliance led by the people’s President Advocate Nelson Chamisa . He can be contacted via his Facebook page or his twitter handle @ luke_tambo .

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