Graft has 'killed' Zim

HARARE - Why is it no surprise that many politicians stand by the theory that sanctions killed the country — and not corruption?

Very few of the die-hard members of the governing elite dare to speak earnestly or even loudly of the rampant corruption in their midst.

I must admit that none of the bigwigs in the party have ever spoken loudly or even publicly of corruption among them being the prime factor in the imminent downfall of their reign.

That statement sounds a bit premature — I agree. None of the party’s leaders have spoken eloquently or even spiritedly of the destruction of the party’s character — from the top to the bottom — by its reputation of fraud and deceit.

Mind you, I am the first to admit that although corruption may be rampant among the bigwigs, there must be only a handful of them willing to come out into the open and debate the scandal publicly. 

In defiance of the accusation of bribery and other acts of corruption, such leaders are likely to use their legitimate rights as upright citizens, in defence of such acts as bribery and intimidation, as their “perfect” right as citizens.

Among most of the leaders, there is no attempt to deny the existence of corruption among them. What most of them use as their defence is what they describe as “the universality” of what is called graft.

Most will quote the examples of the western world to justify their acts of theft.

Do you believe that the Americans, the British, the French and the Germans are “squeaky-clean” as far as being political brigands is concerned?

The universal truth is probably that where there are politicians, there is corruption.

The politicians everywhere in the world will use any method of persuasion to convince uncommitted voters that they are the ideal people to represent them in Parliament — they know the ropes and the language. 

There is little contradiction in the argument that, in the case of Africa, there is little finesse or even subtlety in how politicians will handle their supporters, in a world where there is poverty and ignorance.

So, as Zimbabwe prepares for elections in 2018, is there likely to be a clean-up of the political stable, so presently stuffed with the waste matter of the last politicians to win elections?

One seasoned journalist, a veteran of many political campaigns since 1980, reckons that things might get even more out of hand as we approach the next elections.

But is there a chance that, most old timers of the party might raise the alarm and call for a clean-up of the election campaign methods of the governing party?

Might such people demand that there ought to be a thorough clean-up of the campaign, that there ought not be any violence against the opposition?

Looking at the old books of the governing party, such people risk being expelled from the party.

Their forced departure would not affect the numerical strength of the party.

Only if a sizeable chunk of the membership shifts to

opposition ranks would there be a marginal shift in the strength of the opposition.

That seemed to have occurred in an election in which it is believed the ruling party ended up having to “doctor” the results to win.

What would be crucial in any election would be the

attitude of the ordinary voter.

Ordinarily, the very ordinary voter will decide that the ruling party will win: so why bother to engage in fruitless gymnastics?

On the other hand, a seed of radicalism may have been planted with the acceptance by voters that corruption must be rubbed out.

That decision might also decide the governing party’s fate. 

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