Source: Editorial Comment – Corruption: We await the first arrests | The Herald June 6, 2016
Reports in our sister paper, The Sunday Mail yesterday that Government has set in motion a major anti-corruption operation, is clear testimony of its commitment to tackling the cancer that is partly the reason for stuttering economic development.There have been numerous reports of parastatal bosses involved in shady deals and spending State resources on pushing personal interests ahead of the interests of the Government while other corruption cases have also been reported in the private sector.
While there is no doubt that illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West have gravely impacted on economic growth, there is no argument about the impact corruption has had on the economy and that it is time that we spend less time talking and do what we have to do to send a clear and loud message of our intolerance to the vice.
A lot of talk has gone on for a while now in Government corridors on the unacceptable levels of corruption, but it was not coupled with taking the fight against corruption seriously. In recent weeks, Zesa, through its subsidiaries, has been in the news on allegations of corruptly awarding power tenders to certain individuals without following laid down tender procedures.
The power authority has awarded tenders running into several millions of dollars to people who have failed to provide security and questions have been raised how this could have happened under the watchful eye of the board that provides oversight.
The passive reaction of Government to reports of corruption was making the people slowly begin to conclude that it lacked interest in pursuing and bringing the culprits to book, ostensibly because some senior Government officials could be involved in corrupt activities.
It is hard to explain how a few people find resources to live lavishly when the majority is struggling.
Zimbabwe is a rich country that has the capacity to carry the burden of looking after its people, if a few bad apples are not left to spoil the basket.
What we want now is the involvement of the police as indicated in The Sunday Mail story.
Arrests must be made so that we send a strong message to everyone of corrupt tendencies that the law knows no colour, knows no politicians or businessman.
It is not applied selectively.
Sadly, because of too much talk on corruption in the past, some people had become very arrogant, even boasting that they were untouchable and were not ashamed of flaunting their ill-gotten wealth.
We need to start taking action on corrupt people.
We have talked about corruption for far too long and only when we start arresting the culprits will the nation take us seriously.
What the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the police did last week, confiscating key documents from senior Government officials and parastatals, is a good and very encouraging starting point in the fight against corruption.
We need upright people to hold positions of authority, people who have the national interest and who uphold the tenets of good corporate governance all the time.
The fight against corruption is not a witch-hunt, but an operation that is meant to clean up the parastatals and related institutions of selfish people in our midst.
We await the first arrests!