ZACC hits out at Gumbo witness claims, says minister subject of criminal investigation

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) Thursday pushed back against Presidential Affairs minister Joram Gumbo, insisting he is the accused in a criminal investigation contrary to media reports.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joram Gumbo

Gumbo’s lawyer, Selby Hwacha, misled journalists Wednesday claiming the minister had merely been invited to assist ZACC with information as a potential State witness.

Hwacha’s media pushback came after Gumbo was released under unclear circumstances Tuesday, despite having been scheduled to appear in court on corruption charges.

“He is an accused person not a witness,” ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo told journalists, directly contradicting Hwacha.

Gumbo on Monday became the second sitting minister to be snared by ZACC officers after he was arrested in connection with a US$1 million payment made to a relative’s bank account during his time as Transport minister (see charges above). Former Tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira has since lost her Cabinet position and is due to appear in court on corruption charges after her July arrest.

Gumbo’s inexplicable release triggered an outcry, with accusations that he is being protected by President Emmerson Mnangagwa with whom he enjoys a close friendship.

Sources close to developments at ZACC said Gumbo would appear in court.

“There is an agreement among the commissioners that their credibility is on the line so the issue is far from over. Matanda-Moyo is obviously under serious political pressure but it is not just about her; the other commissioners will not stand for any backpedalling on the charges. Gumbo will appear in court one way or another,” the source said.

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