TRANSPORT minister Obert Mpofu, who has had several allegations of graft levelled against him, has challenged the media to prove the alleged corrupt activities first before implicating him in any shady deals.
Mpofu’s vast wealth that includes several properties in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls has raised suspicion of corruption by the former Mines minister, who has been fingered in a diamond bribe scandal. Mpofu is also reportedly now a major shareholder of struggling Allied Bank.
Prominent lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa recently challenged him during the trial of Zimbabwe Core Mining and Minerals director Lovemore Kurotwi to prove his source of vast wealth.
However, Mpofu on Tuesday, while addressing the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) board, said reports of corruption against him were the work of people bent on soiling his image based on unfounded claims.
Mpofu maintained that he was clean.
“I have been accused of corruption, but I have never been questioned or convicted of any wrongdoing for people to say that I am corrupt,” Mpofu said.
He said the media needed to act in a constructive manner rather than pursue destructive agendas.
“Let’s just be human rather than for people to say that someone is corrupt when I have never been called to the police. Let us try to be constructive as Zimbabweans,” Mpofu added.
Mpofu’s remarks dovetail with sentiments expressed by President Robert Mugabe in his speech during the official opening of the Zanu PF congress in December last year that there was need to get enough evidence first before political bigwigs could be brought to book for corruption.
There was, however, growing scepticism over Mugabe’s commitment to effectively fight corruption with analysts saying his pledges have not resulted in firm action against corrupt elements.