STAFF WRITER 4 June 2018
HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa “hit the ground running” when he
assumed office last November, pledging to fight corruption wherever it
Busting corruption became one of his top priorities, along with his
“Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra, which is meant to whet
But as we reported this past week, the anti-corruption drive is fast
losing momentum, with Mnangagwa now facing the embarrassing prospect of
having large-scale, callous embezzlement of funds continuing under his
Notwithstanding the much-hyped zero-tolerance to corruption, his
administration has so far recorded no convictions in trials of the
allegedly rotten tomatoes in high places.
In fact, those implicated for abuse of office and corruption are out on
relaxed bail terms, while some have had their passports returned to them –
an indication that the cases against them could be crumbling.
To save face, Mnangagwa has been forced to establish a special
anti-corruption prosecution unit based in his office, but we doubt if this
is the solution.
To succeed in the fight against corruption, those tasked with this mammoth
exercise must be blind to issues to do with political affiliation, race,
tribe, gender and religion, because they must never be any sacred cows.
The direction the fight against the vice has taken suggests that it is
only rivals of the current administration who must face the music.
Even more importantly, other than the rhetoric, there is really no
political will from Mnangagwa’s subordinates to make our environment
In dealing with endemic corruption like the one in Zimbabwe, we have
reached that juncture whereby sweeping reforms are long-overdue in all the
arms of the State.
Only after such reforms, can the country efficaciously deal with old cases
of graft, root out emerging ones and guard against the recurrence of the
As things stand right now, you cannot expect an administration whose head
of State is still to declare his assets, net worth and the sources thereof
publicly, to viciously tackle graft.
Against such a background, it is futile to attempt to fight rampant
corruption using tainted hands, fouled institutions and defiled systems.
As highlighted by Stephen Chan, a professor of world politics at the
School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, last
week, having many people at senior level suspected of corruption will mean
that corruption is part, not just of the system of government, but the
culture and structure of government.