Corruption engulfs GNU

HARARE - As Zimbabweans celebrate four years since the birth of the coalition government, corruption seems to be floating alongside, eroding whatever good the few straight jacketed officials could have achieved.

The Government of National Unity (GNU) formed through the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed in 2009 saw three parties promising to work together and eradicate poverty, hatred among citizens and fight corruption that seemed out of control.

When Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, Welshman Ncube’s MDC and President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF penned the unity agreement, it brought high expectation.

But four years down the line there are clear signs of frustration as Zimbabweans continue to witness worrying cases of corruption starting with those in government down to those who serve in public offices.

While over the years Zanu PF officials and cabinet ministers had been accused of corruption, lining their pockets and owning several properties worth billions of dollars in and outside the country, the source of their income has always been disputed.

According to cables released by whistle blower WikiLeaks, Mugabe is rumoured to be worth more than a $1 billion, a far cry in a poor state such as Zimbabwe.

Minister of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo, a Zanu PF top official has to date failed to account for his vast wealth which includes dozens of residential and commercial properties spread across the country.
 
Obert Mpofu, a top Zanu PF official and minister of mines has been fingered in several high profile financial deals.

He presides over the country’s vast mineral resources including the Chiadzwa diamond fields whose poor revenue remittances have been a bone of contention.

Mpofu is believed to own half of Victoria Falls and several other properties around the country.
 
While the MDC signed the GPA promising people to use the arrangement to curb corruption, it has found itself a victim of its promises as some of its ministers have been implicated and investigated for abuse of Community Development Funds, CDF.

Recently, the MDC-T fired 12 councillors, including Harare deputy mayor Emmanuel Chiroto and Gweru mayor Tedius Chimombe, over corruption following an internal commission of inquiry.

Local government deputy minister Sessel Zvidzai, following the expulsion, said anomalies discovered during the probe shocked his party leadership.

He said the investigations revealed massive accumulation of wealth within the party ranks to the point that some individuals had become excessively rich overnight.

This year’s firing is the second one as the party once fired all 24 councillors from Chitungwiza for abusing public office.

Corruption at borders, state procurement board, police, registrar’s office and even in schools has continued to thrive. - Wendy Muperi

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