President Robert Mugabe is under pressure to investigate a key ally of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to establish his suitability to hold office in the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), it has emerged.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) wrote to Mugabe giving him up to last month to investigate Zacc commissioner responsible for investigations, Goodson Nguni (pictured) on allegations that he was unfit to hold office due to a questionable track record.
The lawyers, according to communication between ZLHR and the Office of the President and Cabinet obtained by The Standard, claimed Nguni was once convicted by the South African High Court for fraud and there was a warrant for his arrest in the neighbouring country.
ZLHR first demanded an investigation into Nguni early last year before he got entangled into a war of words with Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo.
Moyo accused Mnangagwa of using Nguni to persecute him after Zacc arrested the minister on charges that he abused money belonging to the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.
"We note that Mr Nguni was convicted of offences of fraud and corruption in terms of the South African Prevention of Organised Crime Act and that a confiscation order in the amount of R63 806,60 was issued against him on March 18 2008 by the High Court of South Africa, South Eastern Cape Local Division in Port Elizabeth," read part of the lawyers' letter dated April 11 2016.
Mugabe, through his deputy chief secretary Ray Ndhlukula, informed ZLHR that he was investigating the claims.
"Please be advised that your submission has been noted with appreciation and our office is looking into it. Feedback will be provided as soon as possible," he responded on May 4 2016.
However, there was no movement in the investigations until last month when ZLHR wrote a follow-up letter to Ndhlukula demanding action.
The lawyers threatened to drag Mugabe to court if he does not remove the former Zanu PF activist and ex-leader of the shadowy Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations from Zacc.
According to Section 254 (2) of the Constitution, anyone who is convicted of any crime related to mistrust either within or outside Zimbabwe does not qualify to be appointed to Zacc.
"In light of Mr Nguni's convictions, we accordingly submit that he is not qualified to serve as a member of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and should be removed as a matter of urgency," ZLHR wrote in the follow-up letter.
"In the event that Mr Nguni is not removed from office, we submit that his appointment is liable to challenge before the courts."
Nguni allegedly has an arrest warrant that was issued against him over the fraud allegations opened in 1999 when he allegedly defrauded his former employers, the South African Post Office (Sapo), in the Eastern Cape region, of over R500 000.
Some reports say he left South Africa for Zambia and then Zimbabwe before the trial commenced.