Walk the talk on corruption

HARARE - The let-us-fight-corruption mantra in Zanu PF is now a boring political rhetoric that has long ceased to invoke excitement among the generality of the population.

And therefore we are by no means excited by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s pronouncements in the past few weeks that the President Robert Mugabe-led government is now determined more than ever to fight the cancer.

It is almost comical that in a country with countless corruption cases involving the top brass, none has been arrested and we are therefore not holding our breath.

That corruption thrives in Zimbabwe is hardly earth-shattering. In 1989, the nationalist government led by Mugabe, still fresh from the guerrilla war and shaking off the socialist ideology, were caught in a shocking looting spree that led to former Cabinet minister Maurice Nyagumbo’s inglorious death. The Willowgate Scandal sucked in ministers like Nyagumbo, Enos Nkala, Dzingai Mutumbuka and their spouses — who were shown the exit door but some survived.

Of course, on paper we have all the necessary tools to deal with graft — but the institutions, like the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), and the police are either too weak or too much involved in day-to-day politics to be effective.

While people like Mnangagwa would have us believe that Zanu PF is now serious in its anti-graft fight, history is replete with cases involving top officials who walk scot-free — too big fish to be trapped by Zacc’s nets. A barrage of corruption scandals in Zimbabwe — each one more brazen than the one before it — has exposed just how pervasive and pernicious stealing has become in the country.

Apart from the Willogate Scandal of 1988-89, which saw five members of Mugabe’s Cabinet resigning, the country has witnessed more several jaw-dropping cases of corruption and nothing has been done on perpetrators.

While those involved in the Willogate Scandal chose to do the honourable thing and resign —Mugabe’s current ministers do not have the decency, because they know there is no one who can throw the first stone.

In the late 1980s and 1990s, senior government officials and their associates, relatives and friends looted the War Victims Compensation Fund (WVCF), which had been established under the War Victims Compensation Act (Chapter 11:16) to compensate victims for injuries suffered during the liberation war.

Following reports of mass-scale looting, a Judicial Commission of enquiry was set up and its findings shocked the nation. We still have the looters of the WVCF in our midst and it will take action and not mere words to convince us that people who stole the Constituency Development Fund during the inclusive government era will ever be brought to justice.

Comments (2)

There is definitely no will power to fight corruption.Too many of the supposed 'fighters' are benefiting from it.

Chikata - 21 September 2016

Ever since this ZACC was commissioned none has been caught even though they are known and are walking free. What is the point really of having a watch dog when the stealing gets worse? who will catch the big fish?

pride - 21 September 2016

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