Be accountable: Don’t hide behind politics

Source: Be accountable: Don’t hide behind politics | The Herald

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
There is a growing and disturbing culture that is slowly finding a permanent residence in Zanu-PF where party members are conveniently abusing its name to cover up for their criminal activities. The party is fast becoming a safe haven and breeding roost for criminals and this appalling situation is allowed to continue unchecked. Every senior party member implicated in graft is quick to allege persecution by political rivals in the so-called succession battle.

Accountability is now alien to party bigwigs and this twaddle behaviour should stop if Zanu-PF entertains any hope of extending its hegemony beyond 2018. One such case is that of Harare East legislator Cde Terrence Mukupe.

The youthful politician was last week fingered in a scam involving four fuel tankers that entered the country with 140 000 litres of diesel purportedly in transit to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Surprisingly, the fuel was emptied in Chitungwiza and replaced with water.

The tankers, that were under zimra surveillance from Forbes Border Post, were then intercepted at Chirundu Border Post. Asked to explain his involvement or that of his company in this suspected criminal activity, Cde Mukupe’s response was as shocking as it was revealing.

“Go to company records and check your facts. Dzorera G40 mari yavakupa . . . I have nothing to say to you my brother. Continue with zimra and your sources,” said an irate Cde Mukupe.

With all due respect, Cde Mukupe, what does G40 have to do with 140 000 litres of diesel in question? Is G40 (whatever that means) a stakeholder in the company implicated in the transportation of this loot or is G40 known for sponsoring negative stories against its adversaries?

In any case, what evidence do you have to make scandalous allegations that dirty money exchanged hands for the story to be published? What makes you think that you should not be held accountable where an act of misconduct involving your name has been reported? Why do you think that every story implicating your person is politically driven?

Instead of spewing your vitriolic accusations bereft of facts, why don’t you provide substantive evidence to clear your name Cde? If you are innocent, why are you quick to throw political tantrums in a simple matter that borders on naked corruption?

For the avoidance of doubt Cde Member of Parliament, accountability does not care which faction you support in Zanu-PF, if there is any. Neither your faction nor you are above the law when it comes to the laws of the land.

Your transgressions are equally bad as those of any other citizen of this country and should be treated as such. In the same breath, I implore you to put facts on the table to clear your name rather than to perch your persona under the presumed untouchable wings of Zanu-PF succession politics.

This is a case of suspected criminal conduct that is miles away from the muddy waters of this country’s politics. Be that as it may, what is telling from your warped response is that Zanu-PF senior members are underwriting factional stories with some cheap freebies in certain newsrooms.

It is also evident from the same response that Zanu-PF members are afraid of being held accountable let alone being interrogated on corruption issues. Without arrogating ourselves the role of a mufti charged to pass a fatwa on you, the uneasiness reflected by your response Cde is suspicious and one is tempted to pass judgment.

However, what is more important and worth bringing to the fore is the underlining fact that Cde Mukupe is not in a league of his own on in this matter.

He joins a pervasive ilk of senior members who are abusing the name of the party to shield their disgusting corrupt misdemeanours. Not long ago, a senior Zanu-PF member who sits in the Politburo was implicated in the abuse of funds meant to assist students in tertiary institutions. Instead of clearing his name before the courts, the learned politician cried foul alleging persecution by political rivals.

He went further to justify the loot by claiming that part of it was used to sponsor Zanu-PF activities such as the One Million Man march.

No Cdes, corruption has no justification whatsoever. Clear your names with concrete evidence before the courts. Being a Zanu-PF member does not absolve you from accountability. President Mugabe is on record saying both the Government and the party do not protect corrupt people.

He said if there were some ill-gotten funds that found their way into the party coffers, they should be refunded. There is also another Cabinet Minister who is known for ducking questions whenever he is taken to task over illegal allocation of land in Harare and its environs.

Instead of humiliating perceived political enemies with proof, these Cdes all seek cover from the fictitious diction of factionalism in Zanu-PF. For how long are people going to hide behind this mantra of political persecution? It’s a matter that begs for a serious and robust debate in Zanu-PF’s top echelons.

Zanu-PF is an organisation of repute and should not allow a few bad apples to tarnish its image which it built over 50 years. Abuse of the party’s name should stop and people must answer for their transgressions.