Double Standards in Corruption Cases: Victoria Falls Mayor Convicted While ZANU PF Official Evades Justice.
By Agencies- Former Victoria Falls Mayor Somveli Dlamini has been found guilty of fraud charges and remanded in custody for sentencing, raising questions about the fairness and consistency of the Zimbabwean justice system. Dlamini, who lost his bid for Member of Parliament but had been on $50,000 bail, was denied freedom by Hwange regional magistrate Mr Mark Dzira, who cited concerns that he might interfere with evidence.
Dlamini’s conviction relates to a fraud case involving a commercial stand valued at over USD 90,000, where he allegedly misrepresented his identity to the Victoria Falls City Council in order to obtain the property. He pretended to be Valentine Munyaradzi Maseko, despite having previously benefited from a land scheme, which contravened government directives.
According to the prosecution, Dlamini was supposed to pay a deposit of USD 25,000 for the stand, but he only paid USD 10,000, leaving a substantial balance. To cover the outstanding amount, he transferred ZW$7.5 million through a bank transfer. The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) uncovered this anomaly while investigating corruption suspicions in the city, resulting in Dlamini’s arrest. The local authority suffered a direct financial loss of USD 15,000, with a potential prejudice of USD 66,462.
While Dlamini’s conviction and impending sentencing have raised concerns about the justice system’s transparency, it is equally notable that high-profile cases of alleged corruption involving members of the ruling party, ZANU PF, have not seen similar outcomes. One glaring example is that of Pilrisca Mupfumira, a ZANU PF official, who is accused of a massive USD 95,000,000 fraud case. Astonishingly, she continues to evade justice despite the gravity of her alleged offenses.
This stark disparity in the treatment of corruption cases between opposition figures like Dlamini and powerful ZANU PF officials like Mupfumira has drawn criticism, with many questioning the impartiality of Zimbabwe’s legal system. It is a matter of grave concern that these inconsistencies in justice only serve to undermine public trust and raise doubts about the credibility of anti-corruption efforts in the country.
The Dlamini case, alongside the glaring contrast in how corruption allegations are addressed in Zimbabwe, highlights the urgent need for impartiality and fairness in the country’s legal system. Without consistent and equitable justice, suspicions of political bias and double standards are likely to persist, eroding public confidence in the rule of law.