Back to Index
Parliamentary Monitor: Issue 26
Monitoring Trust (Zimbabwe)
March 14, 2012
PDF version (905KB)
If you do not have the free Acrobat reader
on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking
Legally stupid, morally bankrupt!
Dear Mr Johannes
We hope we find
you well and will get a chance to read our humble submission with
regards to your unfortunate, ill-informed and embarrassing attempts
to halt investigation into the abuse of the Constituency Development
Fund. We are writing this letter as concerned citizens, harbouring
no ill thought not malice but feel greatly injured by your attempt
to interpret the constitution in a manner that impinges on other
constitutional bodies such as the Anti-Corruption Commission.
It is not within
our province to see where your powers start and end, what we know
is that yours is a very powerful office, warranting you the right
to be an ex-officio member of cabinet. This, in our very simple
and humble understanding, requires you to be sober when approaching
issues. As such, there was no elements of sobriety with regards
to the letter you wrote the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs,
halting the arrest of defaulters of CDF. We are very polite in calling
them defaulters, when calling a spade a spade we would call them
in our pedestrian interpretation was meant to protect these fraudsters.
You may have quoted the constitution at length, making a legal point.
But there was no need. You were wading into a province which you
were bound to retreat. It was not supposed to be all about the legality
of the move without looking at the roles of other constitutional
bodies. It is gratifying to note that the chairperson of the Anti-Corruption
Commission, Danford Chirindo, did not mince his words when he announced
that they would continue to investigate undeterred. “ZACC
would like to reiterate unequivocally and unreservedly in terms
of its mandate and powers as stated that it will continue to investigate
all reports relating to any cases of corruption, theft, misappropriation,
abuse of power, and other improprieties including abuse of Constituency
Development Funds; whether such reports have emanated from newspapers,
individuals, corporate world or intelligence gathered by its officers.
ZACC will continue
to investigate all cases thoroughly, professionally without fear,
favour or prejudice.” As the people of Zimbabwe, we are naturally
attracted to what Chirindo is saying. Investigations should be incremental.
Not the big bang approach you wanted. Your suggestions that the
police should take over since it has presence throughout the country
made no sense. The suggestion that all constituencies should be
audited first before arrests makes n sense. That is being polite
again. In other times we would have called it STUPID. It is like
saying the police should only make arrests after all cases theft
and robbery have been fully investigated across the country. In
the meantime the robbers and thieves will be covering their tracks
In our case,
fully auditing constituencies is trick because of lack of manpower
and funds. This is what Eric Matinenga has always highlighted. We
are convinced that the 65 constituencies were a sample. Something
representing a whole. If 10 out 65 default, then about a sixth may
have defaulted. A sixth of 210 gives us up to 35 MPs. So with such
a statistic, Mr AG, do you think ZACC and Ministry of Constitutional
and Parliamentary Affairs would have sat by, musing waiting to go
through all the constituencies. This would have been a serious neglect
of duty by both the Ministry and the Commission.
We are happy
they have not slept on the wheel and we hope they will get to the
bottom of it. We also hope that your interpretation of the constitution
on this issue, which experts have described as flawed, was an error
in your attempt to execute your duties, something we all do. However,
the manner in which you came guns blazing, making the AG’s
office omnipotent could be an attempt to protect some big fish.
Let us put this
into perspective. These fraudsters, for that is what they are, misappropriated
funds meant to make roads, clinics, hospitals and schools slightly
better than they are. These are found not where you stay but where
we the majority live. Those areas you visit with your air-conditioned
all terrain vehicles. We are not saying its bad. What we are saying
is that, just like you want an air conditioned vehicle, we need
better education and health facilities facilities and CDF was a
small but significant steps towards that direction. Then these guys
decide that on top of the luxuries they enjoy, they can go on to
steal from the poor. They may have their constitutional rights and
they enjoy these through the courts not your deliberate misrepresentation
Mr AG. It is worse than a genocide!
Visit the Parliamentary
Monitoring Trust - Zimbabwe fact
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.