Tsvangirai dismisses Tomana attempts to protect thieving MPs

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has dismissed Attorney General Johannes Tomana's order to police to halt arrests of MPs accused of embezzling government’s Constituency Development Funds (CDF).

Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai

Speaking Tuesday during his now routine Monthly addresses to Parliament, Tsvangirai insisted there was no government policy to protect thieving legislators.

“There have been several arrests mainly of MPs for alleged abuse of CDF funds,” Tsvangirai said.

“There is no Government policy to protect corrupt people and I urge the relevant agencies to ensure that justice is done and any corrupt person is arrested.

“The Anti-Corruption Commission is an independent Commission and I hope that it will not be threatened and hindered from its work of exposing corruption and making sure that justice is done without favour and without bias.

“Any corrupt person should face justice regardless of whether they are MPs or Ministers and we hope that there won’t be efforts to slow down the wheels of justice or to protect corrupt people from being exposed and arrested.”

Tsvangirai said this in apparent reference to Tomana’s directive to the police and the anti corruption commission to halt the arrest of the MPs ostensibly to allow for a full scale investigation into the use of the funds by all legislators including ministers.

Critics say the halt in the arrests, which have so far seen two Zanu PF and two MDC-T MPs nabbed for abusing their CDF allocation, was an attempt by political parties not to rock the boat ahead of the country’s forthcoming watershed polls.

Tsvangirai urged the House itself to come up with a mechanism that will enable it to hold its own members to account.

“These are public funds and Parliament as an institution should have a way of ensuring that these public funds are properly accounted for,” he said.

The MDC-T, whose job is to supervise cabinet ministers, further threatened to come to Parliament next month to “name and shame” underperforming ministers.

Turning to police roadblocks, Tsvangirai said cabinet has tasked the two Co-Ministers of Home Affairs to consider a possible halt in the excessive roadblocks which have seen the motoring public being forced to pay spot fines all the time.

“Cabinet noted the reported abuse of people and the excessive roadblocks on our roads,” Tsvangirai said in his address to the house.

“We decided that the relevant Ministers look at these issues, including the issue of spot fines in relation to possible corruption.

“As Government, we are not condoning the unroadworthy vehicles on the roads or the recklessness of both public and private transporters.

“Our view is that the law must be enforced within reasonable limits and without harassment of the citizens. I therefore expect the Co-Ministers of Home Affairs to address this issue and expeditiously report back to Cabinet.”

Meanwhile, Tsvangirai has taken President Robert Mugabe to task over his failure to land support to ongoing rallies organised by local churches to pray for peace.

“Only yesterday, I was talking to the President about the peace prayers that the church has initiated in the provinces,” he said.

“Both of us pledged to support this process and the President assured me that he will find time to attend these prayer meetings so that we all continue to speak publicly once again in the promotion of peace in the country.”

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