THE ruling Zanu PF yesterday came out in support of the media for exposing the rot in State owned companies, leaving Vice-President Joice Mujuru a lone voice in her attempts to muzzle journalists.
Mujuru invited the ire of Zimbabweans on Monday after she was quoted by The Herald newspaper saying exposing corruption in parastatals and related companies by the media could be the work of detractors bent on destroying the government and stalling its programmes.
She accused unnamed whistleblowers of trying to destroy Zanu PF from within by exposing the deep seated corruption.
But Zanu PF national spokesperson Rugare Gumbo, in a rare statement availed to all media houses and even posted on social media networks appeared to be distancing the party from Mujuru’s utterances.
Gumbo said Zanu PF had a zero tolerance on corruption and the stance “has most assiduously” been pronounced at party level by President Robert Mugabe, Mujuru and national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo.
He also paid tribute to the State and private media for exposing corruption at State enterprises.
“This explains why for us corruption was an election issue and why, like the other issues that really matter to us, it was at the very heart of our election manifesto,” Gumbo said.
He said the Zanu PF conference in Chinhoyi last year had come up with a raft of resolutions, chief among them the need to adopt a zero tolerance approach to corruption.
“That resolution has since found expression in ZimAsset (Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation) and, along with every other issue in that blueprint, is currently being spearheaded by the office of the President and Cabinet. We believe that this is as it should be,” Gumbo said.
He commended the Office of the President for its role in the revelation of corrupt activities, specifically in respect of the obscene salaries awarded to executives of public parastatals and local authorities.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this unacceptable and selfish state of affairs and wish to urge the Office of the President to continue to act in the national interest,” the Zanu PF spokesman said.
“We would also like to thank the media, both public and private, for their concerted efforts in bringing this shameful situation to public light.”
Gumbo said Zanu PF would take decisive measures to eradicate corruption in all its forms.
“Those involved in corrupt activities must and will face the full wrath of the law and we are determined to make this a reality,” he said.
Gumbo urged all government ministries to act in the spirit of ZimAsset and in the national interest by carrying out extensive audits in their respective ministries “as we believe it will lead to public accountability and instil confidence in the use of public funds”.
He said Zanu PF believed that complex and intricate issues like corruption cannot be resolved in “a piecemeal, haphazard and simplistic manner”.
“The party needs a comprehensive plan and policy to deal with this menace,” he said.
“Everything must be done above board in an orderly, organised and systematic way to prevent possible accusation of a cover-up.”
Curiously, the statement did no make any reference to Mujuru’s utterances.
Meanwhile, Mujuru last night said she was wrongly quoted by the media and was not against the anti-corruption blitz.
Mujuru’s denial was reported on ZTV’s main news and is set to bring a new twist in the State media-led blitz against corruption.
She warned journalists against being used in internal fights and advised them to be professional.