'Mugabe's nepotism breeds corruption'

HARARE - A war veteran leader yesterday sledged President Robert Mugabe, saying the nonagenarian’s crude nepotism was breeding corruption, further calling on the president to be ethical in his appointments and warning that he was breeding financial malfeasance and lack of integrity.

This comes as the president has employed his in-laws, many of his family members, and relatives and close friends throughout all sectors of the public offices, taking up senior government and parastatal positions.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) spokesperson Douglas Mahiya told the Daily News in an exclusive interview that the 92-year-old is running the country like his private company or personal corporate entity.

Some of Mugabe’s relatives who have been appointed as Cabinet ministers and as senior managers for parastatals include, Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao, Mines minister Walter Chidakwa and his son-in-law, Simba Chikore, who is now Air Zimbabwe chief operating officer (COO).

Mahiya said it has been easy for the president to be selfish in his undertaking of the office for which he serves, with impunity.

He noted that while the president has the constitutional right to appoint whomever he sees fit to serve, the voluble war veteran said competence, integrity and ethics of governance must be the guiding forces in the selection of individuals to serve at the highest offices of public trust.

The ZNLWVA spokesperson said government could not be used as a family personal entity. He said Zimbabwe needs to fight corruption from the ground up, all the way to the President’s Office, the halls of the Legislature and the chambers of Justice.

“Like now, we know the (Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius) Chombo ndisekuru kuna president vedu veparty (Chombo is uncle to our president) we also have the likes of Zhuwao, Air Zimbabwe chief operations officer, Mugabe’s son in-law Simba Chikore, minister of Mines and lot many more others.

“It is such appointments that we think are breeding corruption in the country.”

Mahiya said the appointments erode checks and balances.

He said the lack of ethics and the promotion of nepotism in government results in unfairness to the larger Zimbabwean populace because one is selected for government offices and contracts based more on their connections rather than having the best and most qualified credentials for the positions.

“They will be no checks and balances because zveukama zvonetsa, no one will make his relative arrested because of corruption. So, look, that’s the problem we have currently.

“During the war, we the issue of nepotism was not there. Appointments were done by merit and that’s why we say our party is going against the liberation struggle ideals.

“We also know that the current minister of Lands (Douglas) Mombeshora is the president’s relative.”

A review of Mugabe’s Cabinet will show that there are many of his family members and friends who occupy positions of trust, whose backgrounds have nothing to do with their academic discipline, qualifications, and moral aptitude.

However, they are enjoying the pleasure of serving simply because of political payback, and being related to the president or other government officials.

Not only is Mugabe guilty of this practice, but also the Legislature is even more culpable due to its egregious lack of academic competence.

Mahiya said it promotes favouritism, which can then lead to a decline of morale in the service of government and lack of faith in the integrity of government by the Zimbabwean citizenry. There is also conflict of interest, which can lead to corrupt practices due to the motivation to act for the selfish interest of those involved.

Mahiya said in 2017, the party must punish Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

“In 2017, they must be a conclusion on corruption cases on Moyo and Kasukuwere, the honourable thing for them to do is to resign in order to pave the way for an investigation.

“Corruption is the number one enemy to the country’s development and if the government is serious in developing this nation, they must do something on corruption.

“People are struggling to get food because the economy has been destroyed by corrupt top officials, the country’s cake must be shared equally despite political positions that are the main reason we went to war for.”

Kasukuwere is the latest minister in recent weeks to formally come under the cosh from his own constituency.

Kasukuwere, also Zanu PF’s national political commissar, 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.

This comes as Zanu PF is still burning over a corruption storm in which Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa are facing a slew of charges relating to alleged graft at their ministry.

Zanu PF insiders say both Kasukuwere and Moyo are key members of the party faction going by the nickname Generation 40 (G40), which is rabidly opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding President Robert Mugabe.

The war veterans have been caught in the centre of the Zanu PF succession storm, where they have thrown their weight behind Mnangagwa to succeed Mugabe.

The former freedom fighters’ leader Chris Mutsvangwa was fired from Cabinet and Zanu PF early this year, while senior members were also expelled.

A meeting to mend relations between the war vets and the Zanu PF leader last April failed to resolve the stalemate, with the former freedom fighters setting difficult conditions for Mugabe, including that he ditches Moyo and Kasukuwere.

Recently, Mahiya said efforts by Zanu PF to unite them will not yield anything as they are now determined to work for the people of Zimbabwe and not to be used by the ruling party ahead of the 2018 elections.

“They cannot try to unite us when they are not united,” he said.

“...you cannot unite people who are hungry and poor like us, a hungry man is an angry man.

“How can they tell us to unite with the level of poverty we currently have?

“We should instruct them how to be united because we are the people who own the unity, simple, which is the PF aspect on front of Zanu but the PF is now replaced with the G40.

“They cannot come and tell us to reunite. We are not going to be used again. In 2018, we are not going to push agendas of a certain political party. As we already said, our job is to be the referees, now we don’t belong to any political party.”

Comments (4)

Mahiya your problem is that you have double standards in your approaches. You say this and do that, then we end up second guessing your actual position. You are still in support of Mugabe whom you are accusing of nepotism so what is your position? You did nothing at congress yet you want me to believe that your concerns are genuine. Why don't you sleep and dream again? The truth is that you are cowards who were hiding from gunshots during war of liberation. I wonder whether all of you whom we are calling comrades ever killed a rat in your entire lives because matyiro amunoita anotyisa. Are you for sure war veterans? I am surprised at you. Your fear of Mugabe baffles me

edmore marange - 30 December 2016

These war vets should just stop talking. Where have they been? Mugabe has been appointing his relatives from day one and the war vets said nothing. Why start mentioning the obvious now? Enough.

Inyika - 30 December 2016

@edmore marange and @Inyika correct to the point The Anti Corruption organisation is also run by his relative and wife's relatives no wonder he yelled to the world "Zimbabwe is Mine!

lww - 30 December 2016

The war veterans are terrible,watch out,they are the party machinery to blindfold the public,they are all sailing in the same boat and snakes remain snakes,all along couldn't you see Robert is corrupt,biased and dividing the nation,better shut up and work on your farms

Enos Chikukwa - 31 December 2016

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