CFT alleges state capture in failure to investigate Mnangagwa-Chivayo ties

The Congress for Transformation (CFT) opposition party has claimed that state institutions are failing to investigate the relationship between controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo and Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa because they have been captured by a corrupt elite.

CFT, which has also waded into the matter, stated that Chivayo’s comments about controlling the executive are serious and warrant an investigation.

This comes after Chivayo’s association with the president has put him in the spotlight. Recently, alleged voice recordings of him bragging about this relationship sparked controversy.

In the latest audio, Chivayo explains how payments from a US$40 million Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) deal to print and distribute last year’s voting material were split around the Easter holidays. Critics claim this deal was awarded to Chivayo and his associates without a competitive bidding process and transparency due to time constraints for the polls, alleged patronage, and corruption.

Commenting on the matter, CFT national spokesperson Iphithule Maphosa said there appears to be pattern in which state institutions do not act if politically connected individuals are involved in dubious deals. Maphosa argued that in the wake of such reports, authorities should initiate investigations to promote accountability to citizens.

“Zimbabwe’s state institutions, which are constitutionally created to serve citizens, are either captured or have been rendered redundant by deliberate crippling by the ruling elite,” he said, claiming the lack of action facilitated the looting of the country’s resources and perpetuated a culture of impunity.

The CFT spokesperson referenced how the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), a telecommunications regulating body, was seemingly sidelined in the decision to award the Starlink tender to Chivayo.

“Under normal circumstances, the regulating body was supposed to handle the matter, with Parliament playing a role if the matter deserved the legislature’s attention and oversight. We, however, witnessed a case of arbitrary decision-making surrounding this matter, with blatant interference by the executive, and no guesses as to who received the tender,” said the CFT spokesperson.

“There is no clear record of a tendering process, while the winner has zero expertise and experience in the field of communications. This is while the country has a struggling TelOne company, which could have easily and efficiently carried out the agency work at rates affordable to the ordinary citizen.”

Maphosa stated that such apathy by state institutions has been demonstrated in other cases involving individuals who appear to be politically connected.

“We also note the miscarriage of justice in cases involving politically connected individuals such as Henrietta Rushwaya. The case of a corruption-accused prosecutor comes to the fore, where he was recently convicted and sentenced to eight years this week, while the complainant, who faced a much more serious crime of smuggling minerals, walks free,” said the CFT spokesperson.

“This is a dangerous scenario in a country that seeks to boost investor confidence and attract investment. We seem to ignore the basics of the rule of law and good governance and have embraced corruption and graft.”

Earlier, another opposition party, ZAPU, expressed alarm about President Mnangagwa and Chivayo’s connection, citing unchecked power, lack of transparency, and potential corruption.

Meanwhile, Chivayo has dismissed the audio recording as fake and part of a sinister plot to tarnish his image.

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