Source: Anti-corruption fight must involve all of us | The Herald July 8, 2019
Pupurai Togarepi Special Correspondent
SLOWLY Zimbabwe is emerging from decades of international isolation to reclaim its rightful place among progressive nations.
In order to propel ourselves to greater heights we must take hard and critical steps in the fight against corruption, bureaucracy and other vices that are stifling the vision of President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa has declared zero tolerance on corruption, red tape and he has vowed to crush the vices so as to ensure that we are an attractive destiny for investment and a model democracy that is self respecting.
Regrettably, he seems to be the lone voice in this crusade as there has been a deafening silence from some of his lieutenants, but that is no longer acceptable as we have reached a level as the Zanu-PF Youth League where we want action and not plain and useless talk. The sooner all our leaders at all levels come the party the better for the President’s vision
The tools to fight the vice have been put on the table, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) apart from being given arresting powers is now led by Justice LOice Matanda-Moyo — one of the country’s finest brains.
Indeed, new brooms are in place to sweep the country of the vile vices that are sadly resident in State-run parastatals such as ZESA, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) as is contained in the stunning revelations in Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s report.
One would hope that the net will soon close in on corrupt elements as we now have the police and a ZACC both fighting graft which has made quite a number of people filthy rich.
Talking of the right tools, we are pleased to note that last week Government gazetted the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill (2019) that seeks to give ZACC, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) and the police powers seek answers from those who lead flamboyant lifestyles and have this habit of flaunting their ill-gotten wealth in public.
We have organisation like Zesa that have entered into deals with questionable characters, for instance the Gwanda Solar Project; millions were lost but there is nothing on the ground to show that money was ever paid, like seriously are we failing to account for such amounts of money.
In fact, talking of Zesa, like other parastatals, the power utility company had been reduced to a feeding trough for the management, that awarded themselves hefty salaries, bought luxurious vehicles and practically run down the power provider through corruption, negligence and awful management, one wonders why some people are still in employment instead of in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
Zesa is just an example. There is similar and disgusting rot at other State enterprises like the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara). Maybe it is time there is a complete overhaul at these companies that instead of being profitable are a constant drain on the fiscus.
This is the Second Republic and perhaps it is time to change those who cannot transform to suit the new agenda. Yes, we need to reset the button and hunt with our own dogs. We need to employ people who have similar mindsets and who share the vision of President ED.
Some may call such a move drastic or a purge but it is necessary if we are going to win the battle against entrenched corruption and dysfunctional performance which stinks to high heaven in some of our key institutions.
Unnecessary red tape has to be consigned to memory dustbins; we have to clean up departments such as the Registrar-General’s Office, Zimra, etc, where the workers are in the corrupt habit of demanding kickbacks in order to execute their jobs.
The fight against corruption and unethical practices should be a fight for every Zimbabwean and should start at household level. Both the one who accepts a bribe and the one who pays the bribe should suffer the consequences, no matter how small the transactions.
It is somewhat disturbing that Zimbabweans, as educated as we are, prefer to exchange our money on the black market instead of legal channels, is it too much self hate that we are not willing to do that which is right for the good of our own country.
Places like Eastgate and Roadport in Harare are still swarming with so-called money changers. Is it that the police have no capacity to clean up these malcontents and get the sponsors of these sadistic activities?
We are not the police but we are willing to give our law enforcement agents leads that will see the sponsors of these activities being arraigned before the courts and imprisonment if need be because there is no space for such elements in the Zimbabwe envisaged by President ED.
We will also use our super majority in Parliament as Zanu-PF to enact laws that will deter corruption and end the so-called black market.
President ED was given a mandate to extricate this country from a hole — and he needs the right people around him; he doesn’t need deadwood around him. Where is the leadership in such instances? Is he the only one who should fight corruption? Absolutely NO.
Thus as the Youth League, his vanguard, we are hoping to see the leadership rising to the occasion and walking the straight and narrow path. Isn’t it that charity begins as home?
Every Zimbabwean, regardless of political affiliation, race or tribe must also take heed of clarion call from President ED to fight corruption and poor performance. This is certainly not a one man operation but an exercise that the whole nation must execute with passion towards Vision 2030.
We appreciate the bold steps that were taken by Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando when he dismissed corrupt officials in his office. Hopefully other ministries such as the Ministry of Local Government will take the cue and rid the nation of the menace of land barons.
It is well known fact that the G40 cabal had control of the Local Government Ministry before the dawn of the new era and abused their office to sell State land for self-enrichment and aggrandisement. We are willing to show the appropriate authorities the ill-gotten wealth of such land barons. Some have fled the country but the majority are still much in the thick of things continuing with their pillage and plunder. Sadly, they have been joined by a new crop of land barons masquaranteeing as city fathers in almost all of our urban councils.
It is time a bold decision is taken to deal with weaker links in our effort to build a strong economy for every citizen to enjoy.