Zimbos savage Mugabe on graft

HARARE - Zimbabweans have pooh-poohed President Robert Mugabe’s pledge on Thursday that he will not shield senior Zanu PF and government officials fingered in corruption from prosecution, with critics, saying the nonagenarian completely lacks the political will to deal with the worsening scourge.

This comes as more senior government and Zanu PF officials, including Cabinet ministers, have come under the spotlight in recent months, and are being investigated for corruption, fraud, abuse of office and money laundering, among many other serious charges.

So serious has the problem become that even the normally restrained security establishment has now joined the growing calls by ordinary Zimbabweans that Mugabe, the government and Zanu PF start walking their tough talk on fighting corruption by arresting those implicated in graft.

Officially opening a school on Thursday that was built by the military in Mukumbura, Mashonaland Central, Mugabe said his government would not stand in the way of the prosecution of all those who were caught engaging in corruption.

However, the statement has completely failed to gain traction with most Zimbabweans, including opposition parties and civil society organisations, who say he only pays lip service to dealing with the scourge.

Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC is among those that have cast doubt on both the police’s and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission’s (Zacc’s) “real appetite and ability” to deal decisively with people implicated in corrupt activities.

“We have heard this type of talk before coming from Mugabe. He talks very tough against corruption but in reality, he does virtually nothing to clamp down on the vice. When he says these things he is just playing to the gallery. We don’t believe him.

“He doesn’t have the political will to crush corruption. If anything, he rewards corrupt Cabinet ministers and promotes Zanu PF cadres who have been mired in corruption scandals,” party spokesperson Obert Gutu told the Daily News yesterday.

Former civic leader McDonald Lewanika, bemoaned the fact that Mugabe had given “the wrong impression” on his key lieutenants who were facing serious corruption charges, by making them feel that they were untouchable.

“Mugabe is paying lip service to the clamour by people for accountability. The proof of the pudding will be on what happens next, with the unfortunate precedent being that he has already interfered with the process in the case involving (Higher Education minister), thereby creating the impression that Moyo is a sacred cow,” he said.

Early this month, Zacc swooped on Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa, accusing them of being involved in multiple serious fraud, money laundering and criminal abuse of office activities, amid claims that the Zanu PF politburo member had allegedly benefited from Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) donations that involved the irregular purchase of bicycles which he donated to his Tsholotsho North constituency.

The ensuing storm has not only exposed Zanu PF’s nasty tribal, factional and succession fissures, but also the ruling party’s gross abuse of State resources to advance its interests and those of its senior officials.

In turn, an angry Moyo has accused Team Lacoste (the faction rallying behind Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Zanu PF) and key players at Zacc of waging a factionally-driven war against him.

In the meantime, Zacc is also said to be investigating Moyo over $5 million which was released for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) promotion, which the anti-graft body suspects could have also been improperly handled.

Contributing to the debate on corruption in Harare on Thursday, the director of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) think tank, Pedzisai Ruhanya, said Mugabe was reluctant to act on corruption because it had sustained his long rule.

“When we got independence in 1980 we were supposed to start on a new framework of building strong institutions, having a different political culture ... but this was not done and this is the problem.

“The problem we have is the subjugation of the will to transform our political culture, the will to transform our national institutions over the will to power. That’s why we have a 92-year-old saying he wants to remain in office,” he said.

“The kind of corruption we have in this country is there to sustain the political power of certain political individuals … to sustain the power of the incumbent leader. That is why the president does not act against the corruption because it sustains his authority, it sustains his long incumbency.

“This is the problem, but it’s not only the problem we have in the State. It’s also the problem we have in civic space ... If you form a burial society, you must die with it ... so it’s pervasive and it has become a culture that we don’t want to transform,” Ruhanya added.

Giving oral evidence before the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Security on Monday, army chief of staff Douglas Nyikayaramba said corruption had become a security threat in the country and thus needed to be dealt with decisively.

And just like Moyo, Local Government minister and Zanu PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, has also landed in trouble after Parliament recommended that he be arrested over alleged criminal abuse of office during his tenure at the Indigenisation ministry, where he stands accused of misrepresenting facts on $10 million meant for communities in the rich diamond mining area of Marange.

Comments (13)

In Mugabe's cabinet nobody is fired for any wrong doing.Instead they are protected and promoted as a source of power.It's only the small fish that fries.May be he is afraid that his dirty linen may be washed in public once he allows the corrupt to be charged.They surely will not go alone, instead it will open a can of worms.Hypocrites!!!!

Tahir Iqbal - 30 October 2016

chokwadi hapana anosungwa.....vanoita zvanoda ndosaka takapiwa masanctions there is no rule of law ...rule of law includes business law ....the do what ever they want and chase away investors no one will ever puty the investments in such risk environment.....kkkkkkk

dofo - 30 October 2016

So you are going to prosecute all the corrupt are you, Sir Robert? Well how about starting with you wife? How did she acquire a Doctorate when she is barely capable of writing her own name? Do you realize just how much you undermined UZ and all the students with legitimate degrees by allowing this to happen? Sir Robert, you are nothing but a pseudo Marxist who has brought nothing but economic decay and suffering to this country of ours. It is about time that the UN intervened and put a stop to your rot.

Mbewa - 30 October 2016

why do we always have to refer our matters to the UN when we can solve them on our own. The issue of corruption doesnt have anything to do with the U.N. Its a domestic affair. The solution lies embedded in the governance system and structures of Zimbabwe. Or else...go and vote come 2018.

gandanga - 30 October 2016

this nonsense of fighting corruption must stop,we cannot have people who have no iota of moral authority pontificate on corruption,wadyajena must explain his source of wealth,so must mnangagwa ,zacc must not be abused to settle factional agendas,any talk of corruption is nonsense without the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission first to look at the roles the nyikayarambas played in the extermination of citizens in the eighties,followed by the armys role in looting diamonds in DRC then chiadzwa and marange diamond fields,these figures run into billions,after which we can then look at the allegations over zimdef funds which are merely $400 000,to some of justice over the disappearance of fellow citizens trumps factionalist corruption allegations

truth - 30 October 2016

The UN has to be involved now simply because we do not want the 3rd election stolen and the masses denied their choice of party and candidate. This mass intimidation, twisting of the constitution, violating our own laws and acting with impunity HAS TO STOP RIGHT NOW. ZANU PF is loathed and hated by the majority and we are not prepared to accept it any more. All of us have to pressure African Governments, SADC and the AU to recognize our plight and desperation? We can do it if we all try.

Mbewa - 30 October 2016

How the hell can Mugabe (and the military) talk about fighting corruption, when they are using state capital (yes, stealing money that belongs to the country, and not to the party), to fund ZANU-PF's electoral campaign. How can Mugabe talk of fighting corruption when he uses Air Zimbabwe as his private airline? ZANU-PF is in power because of their massive corruption - they are feeding on the country.

david taylor - 30 October 2016

The best way to make money now a days is to do of Superior Trading System. Google them and you should be able to find them.

unchuaabri - 31 October 2016

When parliament recommended the arrest of Roy Bennett after he shoved a hapless Chinamasa .he was arrested with lightning speed.This time around the same parliament has recommended the arrest of Saviour Kasukuwere but it is taking them forever to arrest him.What a bunch of hypocrites!It all goes to show that zanu pf leaders are immune to arrest no matter the magnitude of their crimes as long as the nonagenarian has not sanctioned the arrest.This party belongs to the stone age era.Does it mean the zanu pf ministers are too good since Mugabe has not fired a single minister since independence?

Janana wa Bikaz - 31 October 2016

Don't even waste time talking about corruption. What about of the killing of civilians for holding and expressing different political views from those of the establishment; yet those differing views are allowed by the constitution? We have Prenve Shiri, who was promoted to head the airforce after killing 20 000 Mthwakazi citizens. Mnangagwa is being counted to replace Mugabe as President, yet he also participated in the massacring of the 20 000 Mthwakazi souls. The Police general Chiwhure is untouchable yet thousands have disappeared under his watch.

Truth - 31 October 2016

"pseodo Marxist" I like that. Its exactly what he is. now they want to talk about the icc. Zanu pf is scared shitless of losing power in 2018... They don't want to end up at the hague!

Young Zimbo - 31 October 2016

Not only does Mugabe not have the will to combat graft, he does not have the capacity to do it. And he knows its beyond him. Hapasisina zvemunhu ba apa.

Jonso - 1 November 2016

Zimbabwe is truly a feudalistic society. You need the king's approval to arrest a criminal.

Jonso - 1 November 2016

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