Norton Independent Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa says Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator, Justice Mayor Wadyajena was allowed to travel to Europe after he had threatened to expose others involved in the $5 million Cottco fraud scandal.

Wadyajena and his co-accused Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) executives, Pious Manamike (54), Maxmore Njanji (47), Fortunate Maloi (34) and Chiedza Danha (39) are facing fraud and money laundering charges involving US$5.8 million.

They were recently granted $100 000 bail each by Harare magistrate Stenford Mambanje.

Apparently, Wadyajena had his passport returned and bail conditions relaxed so that he could travel to Europe.

Meanwhile, Mliswa says Wadyajena should not have been allowed to go considering the seriousness of the charges he is facing.

In a thread of tweets Mliswa said:

Wadyajena’s case, characteristic as it is of the many scandals that are engulfing this nation presently, typifies the level of institutional rot and political decadence from which we should rescue ourselves lest we complete the circle of a failed nation.

Wadyajena was arrested on 17 August over a US$5 million corruption. To protect the integrity of Parliament he was supposed to stand down as Chairperson of the Agriculture Committee or be removed! That hasn’t been done. Instead, there have been machinations to protect him!

A leaked letter shows that Parliament actually pushed for him to have his passport released so that he could travel to Europe! This is a travesty of every ethical standard imaginable. Energy should have been exerted to replace Wadyajena & not to advance his cause to go.

The reasons for these machinations to protect him are mainly because he has threatened to divulge all those who were involved with him in the scandal. There is thus blatant political interference in the legal process as people scurry to cover tracks.

How does a well-meaning judiciary allow someone most likely with offshore accounts to travel outside in the midst of a financial trial of this nature? It’s plain that outside pressure is being exerted on the system and it has capitulated.

For the corruption apologists, this is the Parliament of Zimbabwe Code of Conduct and Ethics. It clearly spells out what is expected of legislators. Wadyajena violated all these sections and Parliament as an institution has not effected corrective measures.

For context the US$5 million Wadyajena case follows up on the US$60 million Drax Covid saga, the US$344 million Pomona and the US$9 million Morton Jaffray scandals. If ever citizens need to awaken and realise what is happening it is now. These are no fly-by-night cases.

These are all cases where corruption is engineered from high offices and is institutionalised. Weak and contaminated institutions are a motif of failed countries. We cannot allow that to happen.