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Minister demands proof that Pres Mnangagwa is surrounded by thieves

Ziyambi Ziyambi, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, has denied allegations that President Emmerson Mnangagwa is surrounded by criminals and demanded proof of his involvement in corrupt deals.

Ziyambi dismisses worries about President Mnangagwa’s ties with notorious businessman Wicknell Chivayo, which has generated public curiosity.

However, civic society organisations and certain opposition parties argue that Zimbabwe is witnessing a type of state capture, claiming that President Mnangagwa’s associates are participating in corrupt dealings that have harmed the state, although no arrests have been made.

On Wednesday, Mbizo legislator Corban Madzivanyika questioned the justice minister, who is the Leader of Government Business in Parliament, about the government’s ability to arrest and prosecute criminals allegedly close to the president.

“Do you have the capacity to arrest and prosecute criminal elements that are alleged to be close to the Presidium of this country? If not, is it possible to invoke what was invoked in November 2017, to correct or restore legacy?” asked the legislator.

In his response, Ziyambi said evidence was needed for such claims made against the president. “I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question. Can the Hon. Member furnish me with concrete proof that the President is surrounded by criminals? I thank you,” said the justice minister.

Nonetheless, President Mnangagwa’s relationship with Chivayo has been called into doubt, with allegations of unrestrained power, lack of transparency, potential corruption, and state capture.

Further uproar erupted after alleged voice recordings of Chivayo gloating about the relationship surfaced, claiming that he controlled the Executive and held Zimbabwe in his hands.

Chivayo is involved in a murky US$40 million Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) deal and had a public fallout with business partners Moses Mpofu and Mike Chimombe over payments.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is investigating the ZEC contract.

Meanwhile, ZACC said it is also investigating Chimombe and Mpofu for abusing funds meant for the Presidential Goat Scheme after the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development intended to buy goats worth US$87 million for Zanu PF’s rural areas outreach.

Chimombe and Mpofu’s company was awarded the contract and received US$40 million but are accused of failing to deliver 632,001 goats under the Presidential Goat Scheme, instead spending the money on upmarket mansions and luxury cars.

The two businessmen are reported to be in China and are expected to return home to face these corruption scandals. CITE

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