Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said the government did not condone corruption but was following the rule of law to deal with any people suspected of wrong doing.
He also said if there was a third hand involved in trying to create havoc in parastatals, he had not yet identified whose hand it was.
Mnangagwa was responding to questions in Parliament on Wednesday on whether the government condoned corruption as seems to have been said by Vice-President Joice Mujuru.
Mnangagwa said he was surprised that when the government tried to follow the rule of law people became angry and started asking why the government was following the rule of law.
“We are now following the rule of law so that the person is charged and tried. In terms of the law, there is what is called sub judice which means that when an issue is pending, it cannot be dealt with. They are to be dealt with by the courts,” he said.
“What you have said about the Vice President of the country, she responded yesterday that in fact her thrust was not on the publication by the media which she responded to in English, but that was the import of her response that ZANU PF – from the highest authority to the commonest person and yourselves included, you do not condone corruption. You are the same as us on that aspect.”
Full question and answer:
*MR. CHAMISA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have decided to ask my question in Shona. I am going to direct this question to Hon. Mnangagwa. In Government, we heard by the Acting President, who happens to be the Vice President of this country, Hon. Mujuru – what Hon. Mujuru said Mr. Speaker, is there a common purpose in Government or is it now, one does as they please, in terms of the issue of corruption which is now endemic? I am saying so because ever since that started, no tangible arrest or people having their past catching up with them, being brought to book. There is nothing to that effect.
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): I have heard the problem that my colleague has, about wanting to know something that does not concern him. Each and every person has his or her own area of operation; it does not surprise me for him because he is offside. We of that area where your concerns are, we are in total agreement that corruption is evil from the top right to the person at the grassroots. There has never been a time when we were surprised or amazed that corruption may be allowed in this country. Wherever corruption raises its ugly head, it must be struck on the head. There has to be a systematic manner in which we attack corruption. People are going to be dealt with accordingly.
*MR CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The response given by the Minister does indicate that at present, no one should be arrested or even taken before the courts because of corruption. Furthermore, when Vice President Mujuru’s words were to the effect that it should not be mentioned in the newspapers, is that Government policy?
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): Mr. Speaker, I have tried my level best in my vernacular language, I use the Chikaranga dialect because he comes from that area and he appreciates it. My response to the question is that no people are dealt with accordingly. There is a manner in which they are going to be dealt with. I did say that there is procedure and that procedure should be followed so that we have a rule of law which our colleagues want so that the rule of law can be upheld. Some of us on this side of this House, when we follow the rule of law, you become angry as to why we are following rule of law, that is wrong. We are now following the rule of law so that the person is charged and tried. In terms of the law, there is what is called sub judice which means that when an issue is pending, it cannot be dealt with. They are to be dealt with by the courts. What you have said about the Vice President of the country, she responded yesterday that in fact her thrust was not on the publication by the media which she responded to in English, but that was the import of her response that ZANU PF – from the highest authority to the commonest person and yourselves included, you do not condone corruption. You are the same as us on that aspect -[HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
MR. MADZIMURE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. Hon. Mnangagwa, as it was mentioned, maybe we did not understand but we did understand. The Vice President, was saying there was third hand that is now involved in the parastatals as a way to reek havoc or destroy our parastatals. Is it true that some people who are dishonest who are within these parastatals are being used by other forces?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND LEGAL AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): I have understood your question there is no question at the beginning where you have tried to pose a question. No I am now on the floor, I am now responding to what I understand. Where I have made a mistake, correct me. Let me respond to the question as I understood it. We are in agreement that we do not want corruption. Then you said there is a third hand, it is a third hand, we have not identified whose hand it is –[ HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]-
MR. SPEAKER: Order! Order! I shall rule that there shall not be any further supplementary because the questions being raised relate to hear-say, interpretation of what was said and so on. I think let the matter be resolved in terms of Government procedures. [Hon Chinotimba having stood up to debate after Question Time had expired] –[HON MEMBERS: Sit down!] Order. I think I was indulgent enough to get an extra four minutes, because there was a response.