Zacc's anti-corruption blitz just red herring

HARARE - Social and political analysts have dismissed Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc)’s recent blitz on permanent secretaries, parastatal chiefs and senior government officials where it is investigating alleged fraud and disregard of tender procedures.

Zacc investigators recently confiscated documents with key evidence to assist in the investigation which President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba said was already causing chaos in government.

Zacc deputy chairperson Nanette Silukhuni told the media this week that the raids were above board. “The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is mandated to investigate all cases of alleged corruption in Zimbabwe without fear, favour or prejudice.

“Zacc acknowledges that search warrants were issued to ministries, parastatals and local authorities.”

But political analyst Mcdonald Lewanika said there is nothing in Zanu PF’s history that gives us any confidence that the current anti-corruption drive is genuine.

“Given the parlous state of the economy and the increasing demand for accountability by citizens of different hues and political affiliations including Zanu PF supporters - the recent clampdown may just be a red herring or show pony meant to divert people's attention from Bigger frauds attaining in the economy and nation.

“We saw this in 2014 when huge corruption scandals were revealed but these exposes amounted to limited convictions,” said Lewanika.

He added that chances are one or two small fish maybe sacrificed in a minimal way, “while the biggest purveyors of corruption, who are presiding over the state and have allowed an environment conducive to corruption to prevail, will go unscathed.”

Legislator Jessie Majome said she is skeptical about ZACC’s capacity to fairly and effectively deal with corruption.

“I worry that it might be a selective weapon against political undesirables, and, given the level of pervasiveness of corruption in our society coupled by the lack of political will from the highest level of government down-wards it might amount to naught.

“Old wine in new bottles doesn't inspire my confidence. I am waiting for it to surprise me!”

Mining activist Farai Maguwu said nothing will happen. “In Zimbabwe people go to jail for petty crimes such as being found in possession of a pangolin. Corruption by the ruling elites is a badge of honor that will earn them promotion

“The ZACC may be well meaning but they will hit a wall. If they try hard to expose corruption they are the ones who will be arrested.”

Media practitioner Rashweat Mukundu believes the anti-corruption drive is nothing but a gimmick and publicity stunt as no one at the top has ever suffered as a result of corruption.

“If the government is serious then half the ministers and senior civil servants will be without work and at Chikurubi or other prisons.

“The whole government system is on a primitive accumulation of wealth drive noting the political uncertainties and everyone is feathering their nests should the factions they are supporting not make it to state house.

“Nothing is happening in government offices apart from thinking about the future and where to get money.”

Political commentator Phillip Pasirayi said this is just a campaign gimmick and it is what they have always done each time there is an election.

“ZACC is an appendage of the ruling party and we all know it has no teeth just like other public institutions. So in short, there is no political will to deal with corruption in Zimbabwe because those at the top are implicated.

“Corruption has become a culture and the 'normal' way of doing business in the country. The sad thing is that it cuts across sectors, including business, churches, civil society, opposition parties and donors,” said Pasirayi.

He added that it is a lie to say that only those in government are the most corrupt. “It's not a problem we can attribute to just to government or one party faction. If we are serious about addressing corruption we need to strengthen our systems of accountability in both the private and public sectors.  “We should even look at appointments to key positions in both government or the private sector and ensure that we have people who are qualified to be in those positions and not cronies.”

Pasirayi was adamant that there is no political will to tackle corruption in government. It is only the small fish or those that belong to a 'weaker' faction within Zanu PF that will be sacrificed.

Political commentator Earnest Mudzengi said this is all about factional wars. “(George) Charamba's statement in the state media points to it. As a matter of fact, there is no political will to fight corruption and take the fight to logical conclusion.”

Legislator Jessie Majome said: "I am sceptical about the Anti-corruption Commission's capacity to to fairly and effectively deal with corruption. I worry that it might be a selective weapon against political undesirables, and, given the level of pervasiveness of corrupt in our society coupled by the lack of political will from the highest level of government down-wards it might amount to naught. Old wine in new bottles doesn't inspire my confidence. I'm waiting for it to surprise me."

Mbira playmaker Albert Chimedza said the real question is why corruption is so endemic in our society.

“I believe it is simplistic to blame it all on the ruling party and the government. They are just products of this society. It seems to me that the problem is in a society which produces the corrupt elements that prey on our institutions such as political parties, parastatals, banks, NGOs, churches, schools, hospitals, business organisations, etc.

“What is it in the society that seems to continually produce so many corrupt people? We even find corrupt practices in families!

“Also, I would suggest that it is the business community that has corrupted the politicians and government officials. They are the ones who offer the bribes. It is rare to hear of a politician or government official bribing a businessman,” said Chimedza.

Media practitioner Tabani Moyo said it is a fact that corruption is not considered as a crime in the Zanu PF led government.

“The whole system is sustained by the blood line of corruption. You know that the government is very corrupt; (Thabo) Mbeki exposed the corruption some years ago when he pointed out at a summit at the Victoria Falls that Mugabe's ministers are corrupt and were seeking $5million brides to get government tenders from South African companies. What did the president do? Nothing!

“The diamond mining scandal and the 'disappearance' of $15 billion and what does the president do? Nothing!

“The running ZESA scandals, ZBC corruption, the infrastructure development scandals, the land ownership scandals and the rise of barons, the creation of a mafia state among others points to a corrupt government to the marrow,” said Moyo.

He added that given such background, “you will appreciate that the current headlines are attempts by the ruling elite to divert attention on the pressing economic matters such as the biting cash crisis, melting economic environment among others. Only the mentally reserved will accept this millennium ruse.”

Social commentator Elliot Pfebve said this is just another smoke screen. “The centre of corruption is right at the top; by vindicating the small fish you massage the real criminals to continue the status quo knowing that they are untouchable.

“We should begin with the $15 billion, who was guarding the guard when the money disappeared? Who was the Minister in charge of policing? Who knew what in the cabinet? “Unless the government is prepared to find answers to the difficult questions, then you will not get difficult answers that will lead to unearthing the public loot of our times.”

Comments (2)

This is hot air. ZANU PF can not fight corruption. ZANU PF and the ZANU PF Anti-Corruption Commission can not fight corruption. They are too corrupt themselves to champion this cause. Anyway we are in the endgame, why waste time.

Zvichapera - 23 June 2016

Guys let's give zacc a chance to explore and arrest

Kichi Chima - 24 June 2016

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