HARARE – Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC)’s John Makamure could be target of an elaborate plot to punish him by the powers that be for his bold decision to launch corruption investigations against controversial Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Mayor Justice Wadyajena, details of the former’s formal accusations reveal.
Wadyajena is mired in a Cottco embezzlement scandal involving US$5, 8 million.
Together with his co-accused who comprise some Cottco bosses, the lawmaker and businessman was arrested August this year and briefly detained before he was bailed in court.
In a surprise development Monday, Mnangagwa appointed a Tribunal chaired by Retired judge Maphios Cheda to probe abuse of office allegations against Makamure and to inquire into his suitability to continue holding the esteemed office.
However, going through fine print proclaiming the tribunal’s terms of reference, it turned out the ZACC spokesperson could be a target of political persecution for daring to investigate Mnangagwa’s blue-eyed boy.
Among allegations against him, Makamure is accused of directing one Lee Sung to fund his political campaigns in Gokwe in return for his protection.
Through a Proclamation 4 of 2022, Mnangagwa tasked Cheda’s Tribunal to investigate Makamure for the alleged misdemeanours.
Read part of the proclamation: “(a) establish a Tribunal to inquire into the question of removal from office of Commissioner John Makamure; (b) appoint Retired Justice Maphios Cheda as Chairperson of the Tribunal; (c) appoint the Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to be the secretary to the Tribunal;
“… (d) direct that the Tribunal shall be held for a period of five (5) months from the date of swearing in of Members, at such appropriate venue as shall be determined by the Tribunal; (e) direct that the report shall be availed at the conclusion of the inquiry; (f) direct that the Terms of Reference shall be as follows.
“(i) to investigate into the matter of the removal from office of Commissioner John Makamure of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission;
(ii) to investigate whether or not Commissioner John Makamure failed to disclose his interest as the founder and trustee of the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST) whose objectives are allegedly inconsistent with the functions of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and Government; Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission;
(iv) to investigate whether or not Commissioner John Makamure directed one Lee Sung to fund his political campaigns in Gokwe in return for his protection;
(v) to investigate whether or not Commissioner John Makamure’s conduct can be deemed to be tantamount to gross misconduct;
(vi) to consider all information submitted by the Judicial Service Commission in order to arrive at an appropriate recommendation to the President,” read part of the proclamation.
Cheda’s Tribunal was given five months to carry out and complete the probe.
The Tribunal also comprises lawyer Charles Warara and Regai Thandiwe Hove.
Wadyajena is a known Mnangagwa ally who has done his bidding from the time the Zimbabwe incumbent was involved in a bruising succession battle with Zanu PF rivals during late former President Robert Mugabe’s rule.
He often clashed with Mnangagwa’s rivals, among them, now exiled former Zanu PF political Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere who was seen at the time as harbouring presidential ambitions.