'State of the Nation' Handeitione opens tonight

TONIGHT’s State of the Nation play titled  Handeitione at Harare’s Theatre in the Park turns the spotlight on what has been termed Zimbabwe’s biggest ‘‘national security threat’’ — corruption.

The showcase comes at a time the military has also weighed in on the rampant corruption by top government officials who have been implicated and nothing has been done to investigate or arrest them.

Giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Security in Harare this week, chief of staff administration, major general Douglas Nyikayaramba said the country was not growing and was bleeding because of corruption by some senior government officials.

“Corruption is a cancer which is taking the nation backward thereby causing insecurity to the nation. It is now a security threat because it is causing people to create mafias or alliances where if one is accused of being corrupt he quickly asks for help of other big names to protect him.

“The ordinary citizens expect authorities to address these issues, but if they see nothing happening to the alleged criminals, they will end up being ungovernable and creating problems for the defence forces,” said Nyikayaramba.

Theatre in the Park’s producer Daves Guzha added that while Zimbabwe’s economy continues to grow weaker and weaker, “some in Cabinet have decided to take the nation for a ride as they play Robin Hood in office and showing no concern whatsoever about the implications of their actions.”

The play which was written by Hellen Morris is aptly dubbed; #Handeitione #Asambenisibone — We are watching and features Guzha and Doc Vikela with guest appearances by singer Hope Masike, Getrude, Chipo and Joe-Anne among others.

They will also be joined by an ordinary vendor, a university student and a villager.

Guzha said they dubbed the play Handeitione, a signature phrase used by Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo while on Twitter and who is fighting corruption charges brought to him and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa.

“All we are saying is that the level of corruption by those in higher office is getting worse by each day while those being implicated are actually being promoted and rewarded.

“What is interesting is that we also have people like VP Mphoko who are in the habit of fighting on the corner of the accused. Actually when Moyo’s scandal was unearthed, you had a bee-line of officials defending his rot!” said Guzha.

The actor said today’s politicians have no shame at all. “Whatever happened to the word ‘principle’? Where are our values as a nation? What will our children say when we, the adults, are always in the news because we stole this or that?”

Guzha pointed out the late minister Maurice Nyagumbo who reportedly committed suicide after the Willowvale Scandal as a man who had shame.

“We had the late minister Edmond Garwe who resigned in shame after his daughter leaked an examination paper. Why are our leaders today not ashamed of their corrupt deeds?”

Guzha said in bringing the play to Theatre in the Park, they are actually giving people the platform to speak their minds.

“The newspapers and television stations have all brought the issue of corruption to the fore, but they have been ignored. And we are saying now; let the people speak their feelings.

“We hope to bring policy makers, those fighting graft and the security sectors to come and deliberate on this important issue — this cancer among us."

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