Government Ramps Up Anti-Corruption Drive: ZACC Updates on Chimombe and Mpofu Investigation

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is making progress in investigating the alleged embezzlement of the USD87 million Presidential Goat Scheme by Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu’s company, Blackdeck. ZACC has found that Blackdeck Livestock and Poultry Farming (BLPF) was given a contract by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development on November 16, 2021, to supply 632,001 goats over five years, worth USD87,757,168. The government provided a 30% advance payment, and on April 21, 2022, and June 29, 2022, payments of ZWL901,294,200 and ZWL698,705,800, totaling USD7,712,197, were made to BLPF. It was discovered that no company named BLPF is locally registered, but there is Blackdeck (Pvt) Ltd, whose directors are Chimombe and Phineas Kabisira. Opposition activists have criticized the government for allegedly allowing the looting and investing in goats.

The ZACC investigation demonstrates the government’s zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, showing no one is above the law, even Chimombe, a ZANU PF Central Committee member. The Presidential Goat Scheme aimed to empower poor rural communities by providing Boer goats, which are more valuable than ordinary goats. This program was designed to help improve breeds, wealth, and nutrition through crossbreeding. The President’s initiatives, like the Presidential Goat Scheme, have been targeted by saboteurs, undermining efforts to achieve Vision 2030. It is crucial for the rule of law to prevail against those disrupting such programs.

It would be helpful to know how many goats have been distributed since 2022. The scheme’s goal is to distribute 600,000 goats over five years, meaning the initial stock should have bred multiple offspring by now, increasing the total number significantly. The leak of an internal memorandum updating the Acting General Manager of Investigations is concerning as it could compromise the ongoing investigation. ZACC should conduct its investigations professionally and discreetly, ensuring thoroughness and due process before pursuing prosecution. The source of the leak must be identified to maintain the integrity of the investigation. This case is crucial as it involves a Presidential Scheme and the welfare of ordinary people.

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