South Africa’s Ex-President, Zuma Delays Corruption Trial With Appeal

File Photo: Phill MAGAKOE / POOL / AFP

 

The corruption trial of South Africa’s embattled former president Jacob Zuma has been delayed again after his lawyer announced Tuesday he would appeal.

The last-minute move pushes back a long-awaited trial over bribery allegations dating back to a 1990s arms deal. Zuma dismissed the charges as a conspiracy.

If it goes ahead, the trial would be the first time Zuma faces a court on graft charges, despite a string of accusations over his long political career.

The High Court in the southeastern city of Pietermaritzburg last week rejected his request to have 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering dismissed, clearing the way for the trial to start on Tuesday.

But Zuma’s lawyer Thabani Masuku told the court at the start of the trial that the ex-president would appeal, dragging on a case that has seen numerous legal twists over 15 years.

After the hearing, Zuma told a small group of supporters gathered outside court that “there have been many conspirators against me”.

“There is no justice that will be served by continuing with this case,” he told the crowd in Zulu.

Zuma was forced to resign as president last year by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party after a nine-year reign marred by corruption allegations and dwindling popularity.

He is accused of taking bribes worth four million rand ($270,000, 240,000 euros) when he was deputy president from a 51-billion-rand ($3.4-billion) 1999 arms purchase by five European firms, including French defence company Thales.

Both Zuma and Thales, which is accused of paying the bribes and was also to stand trial, deny the charges.

‘Another cunning move’

The appeal, which must be filed by November 1, will be heard on November 22. If denied, proceedings are scheduled to resume on the provisional date of February 4.

State lawyer Billy Downer told the court that the prosecution believed the appeal would fail and requested the trial start as soon as possible.

Legal analysts have said a delay would have been likely even without the appeal, given the size of the case.

For its part, Zuma’s defence team maintained that the ex-president had been ready for trial for 14 years.

Legal expert Pierre de Vos of the University of Cape Town said that “if all the courts refuse to hear the appeal, there will be a short delay.”

“If they hear the appeal there will be another year or two before they can begin a trial,” he told AFP, adding that he could face 15 years in jail if found guilty.

Analysts have warned that if Zuma goes on trial, he will drag down with him many leaders of Nelson Mandela’s ANC, which has governed the country since the end of apartheid in 1994.

The opposition Democratic Alliance party in a statement slammed “yet another cunning move by Zuma to avoid jail” and called for the government to ensure the ex-president pay his legal fees.

After a court ruled last year that he should pay his own way, Zuma claimed he was so broke that he had to sell his socks.

‘Teflon President’ 

Critics have dubbed Zuma the “Teflon president” for his reputed ability to evade judicial reckoning.

He has also been accused of organising the systematic plunder of government coffers in a scandal known as “state capture”.

He appeared at an inquiry into the scandal in July, putting on a defiant performance and denying all wrongdoing.

Zuma’s successor President Cyril Ramaphosa told a conference hosted by the Financial Times in London this week that corruption during Zuma’s administration is estimated to have cost the country more than 500 billion rand ($34 billion).

Ramaphosa has vowed to tackle deep-seated corruption but faces opposition from powerful senior ANC members, many of whom remain Zuma allies.

“Zuma was in charge for nearly two terms but did very little for us ordinary people,” Sakhile Dube, a 30-year-old clothes seller, told AFP outside the Pietermaritzburg court.

“We are still waiting to see if Ramaphosa can assist us and remedy the situation,” he added.

Eight Assembly Frustrated FG’s Efforts To Fight Corruption, Says Sagay

 

The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, has said the Eight Assembly frustrated President Muhammadu Buhari’s government in the fight against corruption.

Sagay stated this on Thursday after members of his committee met with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“I am happy to say that the capacity of corruption to fight back has been reduced with the expiration of the life of the Eight Assembly.

“That is where the main opposition to this government was constituted. That was the centre, the main opposition to the fight against corruption,  and at that time it did not depend on which party they belonged to. They all ganged up together against the fight against corruption.

“They did everything they could to frustrate the (federal) government and ourselves in this fight against corruption,” he said.

The Eight Assembly was headed by Senator Bukola Saraki and Honourable Yakubu Dogara, both of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to him, recoveries up to N1trillion was made locally from looters while the fight against corruption is on course.

Speaking further, Sagay commended the President in his administration’s efforts to rid the nation of corruption, an act he believes is being recognised by the international community.

He said Nigeria was lucky to have a person of President Buhari’s credentials as leader of government.

“We congratulate you (Buhari) for being a star of the anti-corruption struggle in Africa. You attach a lot of importance to the fight against corruption, and we have tried to achieve the aims you had in mind when you established PACAC,” he stated.

US Blacklists South Africa’s Zuma-Allied Guptas Over ‘Corruption’

Former South African president Jacob Zuma stands in the dock of the High Court of Pietermaritzburg during his hearing over 16 corruption charges.  Phill MAGAKOE / POOL / AFP

 

The US Treasury announced sanctions Thursday on South Africa’s Gupta business family, close friends of ex-president Jacob Zuma, calling them a “significant corruption network” that dispersed bribes and misappropriated millions in state funds.

The three Indian-born Gupta brothers — Ajay, Atul and Rajesh — are at the center of a South African investigation into rampant corruption during Zuma’s nine-year administration.

His rule ended with a myriad of graft scandals that forced him to step down in February last year.

“The Gupta family leveraged its political connections to engage in widespread corruption and bribery, capture government contracts, and misappropriate state assets,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

“Treasury’s designation targets the Guptas’ pay-to-play political patronage, which was orchestrated at the expense of the South African people,” she said.

The sanctions immediately freeze any assets the blacklisted individuals have under US jurisdiction and forbid Americans and US businesses — particularly international banks with any US operations — from transactions with them.

The sanctions were placed under the US Global Magnitsky Act which targets large-scale corruption and human rights violations.

“We support the anti-corruption efforts of South Africa’s independent judiciary, law enforcement agencies, and the ongoing judicial commissions of inquiry,” the Treasury said.

The Gupta brothers are accused of fraudulently profiting from government contracts, including energy and transport deals, through their close association with Zuma.

The accusations are part of an ongoing judicial inquiry probing allegations that Zuma organised a systematic plunder of government coffers in a scandal known as “state capture”.

South Africa’s justice minister “welcomed the collaborative efforts by the USA government” in the “fight against corruption”.

“The interest of justice must not be shackled by any boundary or border and justice must be seen to be done without fear or favour,” Ronald Lamola said.

The Guptas’ lawyer Rudi Krause said he was “aware” of the US’s decision.

“A press statement dealing with the issue will be published in due course,” he told AFP.

 Dodgy dealings 

Once one of South Africa’s wealthiest families, the Guptas left the country when the ruling African National Congress ousted Zuma from power early last year.

The brothers are reported to have relocated to Dubai, leaving behind a once-giant mining-to-media business conglomerate in shambles.

They have not been charged and their exact whereabouts are unknown.

Indian tax officials raided several properties belonging to the Guptas last year. They were linked to a massive $15 million temple the brothers are building in their hometown of Saharanpur.

Zuma appeared before the state capture commission in July, but withdrew on grounds that he had been “treated as someone who was accused,” according to his lawyers. He has agreed to return at a future date.

The former president’s 35-year-old son Duduzane Zuma testified this week, after he was accused by witnesses of acting as a conduit for the Guptas’ bribery.

He dismissed testimonies of a former deputy finance minister who said he was offered a $40-million bribe by Ajay Gupta at a meeting arranged by Duduzane Zuma, who was in a business partnership with the brothers.

“I’m not corrupt, I have not taken money from anybody, I never have and I never will,” Duduzane Zuma told the inquiry on Tuesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who succeeded Zuma, has vowed to root out corruption.

Meanwhile, a South African court is scheduled to rule Friday on whether to press on with an earlier case involving corrupt payments Zuma allegedly received from a French arms company during the 1990s.

AFP

Somali President Signs Anti-Corruption Law

President of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed gathers with Somalians at Sandton Convention Centre during his visit in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 27, 2019. Hassan Isilow / Anadolu Agency

 

Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Saturday signed an anti-graft bill into law, a long-awaited piece of legislation in one of the world’s most corrupt nations.

The president, better known by his nickname Farmajo, came into office in 2017 vowing to combat the scourge which permeates evert aspect of life.

The new law will pave the way for the formation of independent anti-corruption commissions both on the federal and regional level, according to a statement from the president’s office.

“Corruption is worse than cancer because cancer kills only the individual, but corruption kills the whole society. I hope those who will be selected to be members of the committees will be decent, religious and patriotic,” the president said in a statement released Saturday after the signature.

In 2018, Somalia fell in last place in Transparency International’s perception of corruption index, and graft has hampered efforts to rebuild the nation after decades of chaos including civil war and an Islamist insurgency.

Farmajo’s government is keen to improve its image and win the confidence of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in a bid to secure formal debt relief.

“Good governance is the responsibility of the government and we are mandated to improve the different levels of the government. It is true that all cannot be corrected at once since the country was in chaos for so long, and that chaos created bad cultures in our society.”

AFP

SERAP Asks AGF To Adopt Public Registers For Corrupt Officials

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abukabar Malami (SAN), to adopt public registers for corrupt state governors and other high-ranking public officials.

This was disclosed in a statement signed on Sunday by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare.

The agency urged the AGF to use his good offices and leadership to “move swiftly to develop and adopt public registers for corrupt state governors and other high-ranking public officials charged with and convicted of grand corruption since the return of democracy in 1999”.

It also urged Mr Malami to ensure that the public registers contain accurate data and are fully accessible and open to public scrutiny.

Read the full statement below.

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to Mr Abukabar Malami, SAN, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, urging him to use his good offices and leadership to: “move swiftly to develop and adopt public registers for corrupt state governors and other high-ranking public officials charged with and convicted of grand corruption since the return of democracy in 1999.

SERAP said: “We urge you to ensure that the public registers contain accurate data and are fully accessible and open to public scrutiny. Aspects such as the scope of the registers, who to include in the registers, and eligibility for removal from the registers, can be discussed in a consultative session with the civil society and other stakeholders.”

In the letter dated 23 August 2019 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The proposed registers are far from severe, and would be a proportionate response to the grave crime of grand corruption and impunity of perpetrators and have a deterrent effect. There can be no reasonable expectation of privacy in matters already exposed to public viewing such as prior arrest, charges and conviction records.”

The organization said: “Public registers for high-ranking officials facing corruption charges and those convicted of corruption would be a pivotal moment in the fight against corruption by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the damage caused by graft to citizens’ human rights and Nigeria’s democratic process.”

SERAP also said: “The proposed registers for corrupt officials would serve a public interest purpose similar in some respects to the recently disclosed names and details by the United States Department of Justice of 80 defendants, most of whom are Nigerians, that have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft and other charges.”

The letter read in part: “SERAP is concerned that corruption is so pervasive across many states and at several levels of governance and has remained a constant feature of Nigeria’s political scene since 1999, turning public service for many into a kind of criminal enterprise. Grand corruption has continued to fuel political violence, deny millions of Nigerians access to clean water, and even the most basic health and education services, and reinforcing police abuses and other widespread patterns of human rights violations.”

“The lack of public registers containing detailed information about high-ranking public officials charged with and convicted of corruption since 1999 has allowed many politicians—often with impunity–to use apparently illicitly acquired wealth to fund political parties, build corrupt patronage networks, thereby preventing fair access to economic and political power, serving to further the wealth and power of ruling elites, and exacerbating inequality.”

“Registers would help protect the public from corrupt officials and their collaborators and improve the ideal of representative government, as it would assist the citizens to properly exercise their right to participate in their own government.”

“Public registers would improve transparency by making it easier for the public to track the government’s fight against corruption and make the government as open as possible in its anti-corruption efforts. SERAP urges you to push for legislation that will require public officials charged with and convicted of grand corruption at the federal, state and local government levels to put their names in the public registers.”

“Everyone has the right of access to any information held by the state or by any other person, which is reasonably required for the exercise or protection of any rights, including those of citizens’ right to human dignity and freedom from corruption.”

“Registers for corrupt officials would also address the paucity of information about politicians and others complicit in the mismanagement of the country’s natural wealth and resources, with devastating consequences for citizens’ enjoyment of their human rights.”

“Many citizens lack knowledge and awareness of those charged with and convicted of grand corruption, and those that are complicit in the mismanagement of the country’s wealth and resources.”

“We hope that the aspects highlighted will help guide your actions in developing and adopting public registers for corrupt officials and proposing legislation on the matter, as appropriate. We would be happy to provide further information or to discuss any of these issues in more detail with you.”

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
25/08/2019

Mugabe’s Ex-VP Flees Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Probe

Mugabe

Zimbabwe’s former vice president on Monday fled from anti-corruption questioning after he was summoned over alleged criminal abuse of office, officials said.

Phelekezela Mphoko, 79, who served under long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, was due at the police in Bulawayo, the country’s second city, to record a statement on the allegations.

But he drove off as soon as officials from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) approached his car.

“We had agreed to meet at the police post at the magistrate’s court to record a warned-and- cautioned statement and have his fingerprints taken but when our officials approached his car, he drove away at high speed,” ZACC spokesman John Makamure told AFP.

“He is now a fugitive from justice,” the spokesman said, facing accusations of ordering the release from police custody of a chief executive officer and a non-executive director of the state-run roads authority.

Mphoko was, along with current president Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of two vice presidents at the time of the ouster by the military of Mugabe in November 2017.

He left the country as the coup unfolded but later returned.

An attempt to arrest him by ZACC last week was blocked by his family.

ZACC tweeted Friday that it was “sad” that Mphoko had “refused to collaborate with the enforcement officers and unfortunate that he and those around him believe that they are above the law”.

Lawyer Zibusiso Ncube told AFP that they had an agreement with ZACC that on Monday he would sign a statement at the police “but when we got there they said they (the police) had instructions to detain him”.

“He drove away and is at home.”

The lawyer said the ex-vice president was prepared to appear in court to answer the charges, but “Mphoko claims he heard from impeccable sources that if he is detained, he will be injected with a poisonous substance”.

He is the second high ranking member of the ruling Zanu-PF party under probe by the recently reconstituted ZACC.

Prisca Mupfumira, who was fired as tourism minister earlier this month, became in July the first high profile official to be arrested and detained for alleged graft. She is still in remand prison after being denied bail.

AFP

Corruption Trial: Bashir Accused Of Receiving $90m From Saudi Arabia

Omar Al-Bashir

 

Omar al-Bashir received $90 million in cash from Saudi royals, an investigator told a court at the opening Monday of the deposed Sudanese strongman’s corruption trial.

The former president, who was forced from power by months of protests in April after 30 years in power, sat in a metal cage wearing a traditional white gown.

His relatives chanted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) as proceedings got under way in the Khartoum court where he arrived in a huge military convoy.

Bashir faces a raft of charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide from the International Criminal Court over his role in the Darfur war but Monday’s trial is over graft allegations.

Large amounts of cash were found at this residence after he was toppled and the investigator said the case brought forward to the court probed some of that money.

“The accused told us that the money was part of a sum of $25 million sent to him by Prince Mohammed bin Salman to be used outside of the state budget,” investigator Ahmed Ali said.

According to him Bashir had said he also received two previous payments of $35 million and $30 million from Saudi King Abdullah, who died in 2015.

“This money was not part of the state budget and I was the one who authorised its spending,” the investigator quoted Bashir as saying.

Bashir had said the Saudi money was exchanged and spent and that he could not remember how nor did he have documents providing further details, he added.

Bashir looked calm during the nearly three-hour session, which an AFP photographer and correspondent attended. The next hearing was scheduled for August 24.

 Darfur crimes 

In May, Sudan’s prosecutor general also said Bashir had been charged over killings during the anti-regime protests which eventually led to his ouster.

London-based rights watchdog Amnesty International has warned however that the corruption trial should not distract from his Darfur indictments.

“While this trial is a positive step towards accountability for some of his alleged crimes, he remains wanted for heinous crimes committed against the Sudanese people,” Amnesty said.

Amnesty urged the country’s new transitional institutions to ratify the ICC’s Rome Statute, a move that would allow for his transfer to the international tribunal.

The Hague-based ICC has for years demanded that Bashir stand trial, and has renewed its call since his fall.

The head of Bashir’s defence team, Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir, said in July that the ousted leader’s trial had no “political background”.

“It is an absolute criminal case with a baseless accusation.”

It was the sudden tripling of bread prices in December that sparked the mushrooming protests which led to the toppling of Bashir by the army in April.

The trial comes as the composition of the joint civilian and military sovereign council that will steer the country of 40 million through a 39-month transition was due to be unveiled on Monday.

The line-up had been expected to be announced on Sunday but it was delayed after one of the five nominees put forward by the opposition alliance representing protest leaders turned down the job.

The Transitional Military Council which took over from Bashir and will be dissolved by the creation of the sovereign said the announcement had been delayed at the request of the opposition.

The composition of the new body is now expected on Tuesday.

The ruling sovereign council will be composed of 11 members including six civilians and five from the military.

It will be headed by a general for the first 21 months and by a civilian for the remaining 18 months.

The council will oversee the formation of a transitional civilian administration including a cabinet and a legislative body.

The transition’s key documents were signed on Saturday at a ceremony attended by a host of foreign dignitaries, signalling that Sudan could be on its way to shedding the pariah status the Darfur atrocities and Bashir’s international arrest warrant had conferred on it.

Amidst the euphoria celebrating the promise of civilian rule, unease was palpable however within the protest camp that brought about one of the most crucial changes in Sudan’s modern history.

One of its main causes is the omnipresence in the transition of General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, a paramilitary commander and one of the signatories of the documents, whose forces are blamed for the deadly repression of the protests.

And it remains unclear how the transitional institutions will tackle the daunting task of pacifying a country plagued by several conflicts, including in the regions of Darfur, Kordofan and Blue Nile.

AFP

Alleged Corruption: Court Freezes N263m Linked To Yari

Banditry: Yari Commends NAF For Air Strikes In Zamfara
File Photo: Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari addressing State House correspondents after meeting with the President in Abuja on January 3, 2019.

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja, has granted permission to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to freeze various sums of money in bank accounts traced to the immediate past governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, gave the permission on Friday, when he ruled on an ex-parte motion filed by the ICPC, ordering that all the accounts containing $669, 248.89 and N24.3 million, domiciled with Polaris and Zenith banks respectively, be frozen.

According to the anti-graft agency, the sums are funds allegedly stashed in the personal accounts of the former governor and companies belonging to him, which include: Kayatawa Nigeria Limited and B. T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.

It further stated that a breakdown showed that the sum of N12, 912, 848.68 was stashed in the former governor’s Zenith Bank account; N11, 159, 674.17 found in a Zenith bank account operated by Kayatawa and N217, 388.04 also in Zenith Bank belonging to B.T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd.

“$56, 056.75 was discovered in the former governor’s Polaris Bank account. Another $301, 319.99 was kept in Kayatawa’s Zenith Bank account, while $311, 872.15 was found in BT Oil and Gas’ Zenith Bank account.

“The monies, when converted and put together, bring the total amount frozen to N263, 033, 519.3,” a statement by the ICPC said.

Furthermore, it stated that the judge also ruled that the Commission should publish the order of interim forfeiture in a national daily within 14 days, and that the affected parties should show reasons why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

ICPC had approached the court through section 48 (1), (2) and (3) (a) and (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, praying for an order of interim forfeiture of the alleged funds to the Federal Government.

All the sums are alleged to have been proceeds of corruption emanating from the illegal activities of the governor and his representatives.

South Africa’s Ramaphosa Wins Legal Battle With Graft Agency

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa                                                                Michele Spatari / AFP

 

In the latest round of a protracted battle, a South African court on Monday temporarily blocked the nation’s anti-corruption watchdog from forcing parliament to censure President Cyril Ramaphosa over campaign funding.

Ramaphosa and anti-corruption ombudswoman Busisiwe Mkhwebane locked horns after she accused him of “deliberately” misleading parliament over fundraising in his campaign to become president of the African National Congress (ANC) in 2017.

In her scathing report last month, Mkhwebane also directed parliament to take action against the president for allegedly breaching the Executive Ethics Code and ordered him to disclose details of all his campaign funders.

Ramaphosa went to court seeking an interim ban on her instruction while he appealed against her findings. He has described the report as “fundamentally and irretrievably flawed”.

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A Pretoria High Court granted him the interdict he sought.

The court battles between Ramaphosa and Mkhwebane are taking place against the backdrop of a power struggle within the ruling ANC.

Ramaphosa’s supporters accuse the ombudswoman of betraying her statute of independence and being a proxy for the president’s opponents.

Ramaphosa became the president of the ANC in December 2017, beating a candidate backed by scandal-tainted former president Jacob Zuma.

Since then the ANC has been bitterly split between supporters of Zuma, who resigned last year amid graft allegations, and those backing Ramaphosa, who came to power vowing to fight corruption.

Appointed during Zuma’s tenure, Mkhwebane replaced Thuli Madonsela, whose term expired in 2016 after she had exposed a string of scandals enmeshing the then president.

AFP

Police, Electricity Sector Top SERAP’s ‘Most Corrupt List’

The Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) says Police, Electricity Sector, Education and the judiciary tops the list of most corrupt sectors in Nigeria.

This was disclosed on Wednesday at a town hall meeting organised in abuja by SERAP on the need to mobilise citizen’s support for the fight against corruption.

SERAP’s corruption assessment survey revealed at the town-hall meeting indicates that corruption in Nigeria has not decreased in public offices in the last five years, despite the government’s effort to curb it.

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SERAP also stressed that ongoing efforts to curb corruption in public offices has not yielded sufficient results because citizens are not involved.

An associate at the Center for Social-Legal Studies, Adekunle Adewunmi, said at the town-hall meeting that Nigerians participation is seriously needed to win the fight against corruption.

“The fact that the government has not gotten support has been a major issue. So, if we are going to win the war against corruption in Nigeria, everyone needs to agree that yes, we are tired of this menace,” Adewunmi said.

SERAP is not the only organisation that has scored Nigeria low in the global corruption perception index.

Transparency International recently ranked Nigeria 144 out of 180 countries in the 2018 global corruption perception index.

 

PDP Asks Senate To Submit Names Of Ministerial Nominees To EFCC

 

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Senate to show more credibility with its ministerial screening by sending the names of the nominees to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to the Party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement, the screening exercise should enable the Senate to identify some nominees presented to it by President Muhammadu Buhari to include individuals, who are facing allegations of corruption, abuse of office and stealing of public funds hanging on their necks.

“The PDP notes that the nomination of persons with corruption badges to serve in the federal cabinet has overtly established the fact that President Buhari not only condones but also explicitly promotes corruption, which has escalated into a state art since he assumed office in 2015.

“This is particularly as President Buhari had asserted that he would only nominate persons he knows ‘personally’.

“It, therefore, speaks volumes that the persons Mr President “personally” knows and has nominated as ministers include such individuals that have been publicly indicted and known to be answering questions as accomplices in on-going corruption cases in various courts.”

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The PDP also called on the Senate to identify some of the nominees who have failed to defend their corruption allegations pending in court.

The party urged the Senate to, “take a cursory look into the allegations of bribe-for-ministerial-slot, making the rounds in the public space, the PDP said the Senate must rise to the occasion and ensure that Nigerians are not totally let down.”

Tourism Minister Arrested For Corruption In Harare

 

 

Zimbabwe’s anti-corruption agency said Thursday it had detained Environment and Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira, the first high-profile arrest since it was overhauled by President Emmerson Mnangagwa this month.

According to state-owned daily The Herald, the minister is being held over the alleged disappearance of millions of dollars at the country’s pension fund when she was social welfare minister.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) said in a tweet: “we can confirm that the Minister of Tourism is currently in our custody for questioning and possible due processes”.

Mupfumira was fired as social welfare minister by ex-president Robert Mugabe weeks before a military-led coup that toppled the long-time ruler in November 2017.

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She was reappointed after the putsch, in a new portfolio.

Mupfumira is the first sitting minister of the ruling Zanu-PF party to be arrested for graft under Mnangagwa’s new administration.

The ZACC was created during the Mugabe era but was criticised for being ineffective. Mnangagwa appointed a new team on July 15.

Critics had expressed doubts over the new commission because it was led by High Court Judge Loice Matanda-Moyo, the wife of army general Sibusiso Moyo who was involved in the coup that ousted Mugabe and is now foreign minister.

Manangagwa has identified endemic corruption as a major contributor to the country’s economic woes and vowed to root it out.