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Zacc implicated in Cottco chaos

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) is in the eye of a storm following allegations that the anti-graft body is behind the current chaos at Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco).

Reports indicate that business operations have been crippled at Cottco head office after Zacc officers camped at the site demanding information pertaining to day-to-day operations.

The Zacc officers are alleged to have confiscated original documents without giving employees an opportunity to make copies.

In a letter to Zacc chairperson, Michael Reza, dated April 11 this year, Cottco acting chief executive Munyaradzi Chikasha accused the anti-graft body of acting improperly in conducting its investigations.

“The investigations and the resultant arrests have significantly disrupted Cottco’s business and have the potential to impact the company’s ability to raise funding for the coming cotton buying season set to commence at the end of April 2024,” Chikasha said.

“Let me hasten and respectfully point out that we are not saying that Zacc investigations must stop and we are also not instructing how the institution should carry out its work.

“As a business, we are concerned with how the investigations are being carried out, the arrests and the alleged physical beatings of our staff members by Zacc officials.”

Ordinarily, Zacc formally writes an official letter to notify of investigations and information required.

In this case, they allegedly pitched up in Kadoma with an unnumbered warrant of search and seizure from the Kadoma Magistrate Court.

There are also allegations that Zacc investigations have been carried out on several occasions.

It has also been reported that the anti-corruption body was being used to settle scores and fan internal fights by the company’s suspended loss control manager Tinomudaishe Hove.

Hove is a former investigation officer at Zacc.

Chikasha also argued that before the current investigations, Zacc summoned senior management for questioning on issues that are mainly operational.

Zacc allegedly questioned the hiring of the former chief executive’s personal assistant and the company’s vehicle policy in relation to who had driven Hove’s service vehicle during his suspension.

Hove is allegedly conspiring with former workers to steal fertilisers and ginned seeds and using his contacts to sway Zacc investigations.

“Our observations are that the Zacc investigation team seems to be only selectively looking at issues which have been alleged by Hove,” Chikasha said.

“The investigation method and arbitrary arrests are also being done selectively targeting those who are perceived to be the ones behind the suspension of Hove from work.”

Hove and Reza could not be reached for comment.

According to investigations, on March 11 this year, Hove was suspended for allegedly neglecting to perform his duties, particularly, in relation to crimes involving the theft of ginned seeds and presidential cotton inputs.

Hove is also accused of allegedly stealing files needed by the police to conduct investigations, according to a dossier obtained by NewsDay.

He is also accused of allegedly influencing investigations by utilising his contacts as a former Zacc officer.

Source | Newsday


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