Mugabe has no appetite to act on corruption

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s government, for long accused of corruption and out of depth in arresting the current economic slide, lacks the will to restore confidence among Zimbabweans and foreign investors.

Mugabe, especially, has failed to act on numerous cases of corruption involving senior government officials, including ministers, cementing the widely-held belief that he has used such information to strengthen his grip on power.

From the 1996 housing scandals to the War Victims Compensation Fund, Mugabe and his government have had opportunities to right things by paving for prosecution of those involved in looting funds and benefiting from the houses meant for civil servants and low income groups.

In 2012, during the Zanu PF People’s Conference in Gweru, Mugabe admitted to having being told by former South African President Thabo Mbeki that one of his ministers had demanded a $5 million bribe on his behalf.

And in September 2013, Mugabe staggeringly accused former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairman Godwills Masimirembwa — for having demanded and pocketed a $6 million bribe from a Ghanaian investor.

He later backtracked saying he had been misled.

Mugabe and his administration have not shown signs of acting on issues of corruption that were flagged by Auditor-General Mildred Chiri in the Appropriation Accounts and Miscellaneous Funds report for the year 2014.

Chiri raised serious malpractices in State enterprises where chefs and senior officials flouted good corporate governance practices.

Among serious anomalies highlighted by Chiri was the $180 million payment which was made without supporting documents and glaring recording loopholes in the keeping of records.

Zimbabwe has 62 State enterprises and local authorities in all the country’s 63 districts, and in most instances, these had become feeding troughs for the ravenous officials who have now established parasitic tendencies.

An elite parasitic class has been allowed to loot national resources without refrain because there is no political will to address issues that have been raised by the government’s chief auditor.

Worryingly, Mugabe and his colleagues in the Zanu PF government have not shown the same appetite of 1988 in which senior government officials and ministers who were implicated in a high profile vehicle scandal — Willowgate — were sent packing.

Instead of lynching those fingered in these malpractices, both police and the prosecuting authorities, say they cannot act without a complainant. This is a travesty of justice.

It’s an indictment on Mugabe and his administration.

Comments (5)

MUGABE IS HIMSELF CORRUPT. IF HE WAS EVER SERIOUS ABOUT ENDING CORRUPTION THEN HE WOULD HAVE STARTED BY ARRESTING HIMSELF. IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW HUNGRY THE COBRA MIGHT BE, IT DOES NOT AND WILL NEVER EAT ITSELF!

Wilbert Mukori - 5 August 2015

I lived in Zim for ten years and headed up the Chironga Teacher Training Institute north of Mt. Darwin. Pius Wakatama was/is a good friend of mine. I love you Pius, and when you bleed, I bleed. One vignette. You remember at Karoi when you and I and three others were refused tea. I got ripping mad at what was happening, but you yipped with laughter at my jaundice. M'fundis, that's our life all the time. I just wish Mugabe would leave the political field. All the best, Cliff Ratzlaff (retired psychologist)

Clifford Ratzlaff Ph.D. - 6 August 2015

Our dear friend China recently sentenced a Government Official to life imprisonment for corruption. There is no room for corruption in China. Mao left a legacy and China's growing economy is part of the evidence. How do we grow our economy when every time an investor comes in, a bribe is needed before he /she can even make the proposal (vhuramuromo). May God Almighty help us kill this bug.

Takaedza Takaedza - 6 August 2015

Lets be serious. Mugabe is now too old to deal with the current rampant corruption in Zimbabwe. His energy is long gone. The country has enough laws and institutions to deal with corruption but the government has no desire to tackle corruption. A group in power designs policies that guarantee self-enrichment and self-entrenchment at the expense of all other stakeholders in the country.

Matohwe Tsenza - 6 August 2015

Corruption is the grand scheme to maintain the status quo. We fought for equality which is still ellussive. Slavery is back suported by the law. the politician, judges & junta are todays employers no wonder they celebrating the sackings going on. Besides, are parting for RBZ deb assumption bill. He benefited most.

EL-DODO - 6 August 2015

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