HARARE – Opposition People’s Unity Party (PUP) leader Herbert Chamuka says damning corruption allegations exposed of individuals closely linked to the ruling elite by news network Al Jazeera has taken away the little that the Zanu PF led government had to make a case against the continued imposition of sanctions by the US and the West.
The South Africa based Zimbabwean politician was speaking in an interview following the release of the first of a four part Al Jazeera documentary.
The US and the EU slapped Zimbabwe with sanctions soon after the turn of the century accusing the then Robert Mugabe led administration of rights abuses, vote fraud and unbridled corruption.
Chamuka said for as long as Zimbabwe remained unrepentant in stemming corruption as was exposed by the Qatar based news agency, there was little to motivate the countries that imposed the sanctions to lift the measures.
Part 1 of the documentary featured Zimbabwe Ambassador at Large Uebert Angel offering to use his diplomatic bag to smuggle US$1,2 billion to some undercover Al Jazeera journalists who posed as criminals.
“Uebert Angel is seen in that documentary offering his diplomatic status to Mr Stanley, who could help the smuggling of US$1,2 billion from China to Zimbabwe and you think under such circumstances, Zimbabwe will be removed from sanctions, with such corrupt leaders ruling the country.
“The self-proclaimed Prophet Angel, colluding with Henrietta Rushwaya, offers himself as a smart middle man to Mr Stanley, planning on how to smuggle gold from Zimbabwe and we say that we have a good leadership in the country; no, we don’t have. It’s a disgrace to the nation.
“There are a lot of documents from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) that are revealed in that documentary and FPR to support agreements and purchases between government and gold dealers.
“They (Zanu PF) don’t want to win economic battles, they just want power so that they keep on looting and looting and brutalising people.
“A lot of opposition parties are scared of Zanu PF, even CCC, but as for us, we are not scared of them.
“We will keep on telling them that what they are doing is wrong and we want a country without corruption, violation of human rights and democracy.”
The US government recently renewed its sanctions on Zimbabwe, a month after the European Union (EU) did the same citing the southern African country’s failure to comply with what has been set down as a threshold for the lifting of the measures.
US president Joe Biden, in a statement said said: “The absence of progress on the most fundamental reforms needed to ensure the rule of law, democratic governance, and the protection of human rights leaves Zimbabweans vulnerable to ongoing repression and presents a continuing threat to peace and security in the region.”
Chamuka also accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of being captured and partisan in light of the exorbitant nomination fees for aspiring election candidates and the controversy surrounding the recently gazetted delimitation report.
“ZEC and Zanu PF are the same in the way they do their things.
“Look at the recently gazetted Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) delimitation report; there are rising reports that it contains hundreds of fake coordinates of polling stations.
“Some of them are said to be located outside the country.
“How is that even possible. And I have never heard the head of state saying anything pertaining to that. Where are we going as a country?
“The commission also refused to release an auditable electronic copy of new delimitation maps for analysis,” he said.
Under SI 144 of 2022, presidential candidates are supposed to fork out US$20,000 or Zimbabwe dollar equivalent to be eligible for nomination to contest the poll.
ZEC also pegged nomination fees for MP aspirants at US$1,000 per head US$200 for one to be allowed to contest for a council seat.
The hike has since drawn widespread condemnation from politicians and legal practitioners. – Zimlive