Corruption: Ball in Government’s court | The Herald

via Editorial Comment:- Corruption: Ball in Government’s court | The Herald 

Every nation faces multifarious problems on a daily basis, and at this moment in history Zimbabwe faces a twin that has captured public attention like no other in recent times.The first is corruption in both the public and the private sectors. In as much as anger is justifiably targeted at abuses that border on — and in several cases are outright — criminality in public-funded enterprises, much of the graft cannot occur without private sector compliance and/or instigation.

Yes, a lot of the corruption we see involves either State officials or people that the state has tasked to run particular businesses and provide essential services. But at the same time, the private sector is deeply involved in this; either through our murky tender system, our near-enclave banking sector and a network of middlemen who promise heaven on earth at the most ridiculously high prices.

Public sector corruption is indeed a major thorn in the flesh, more so in an environment such as ours where economic sanctions are inflicting their own harm, but this scourge cannot be dealt with without concurrently confronting graft in the private sector.

And this brings us to the second aspect of the twin challenge that has preoccupied our nation in recent weeks: that of how we practically deal with corruption.

It is one thing to expose corruption, and quite another to bring to book perpetrators.
As already indicated, there is much anger that has been brewed by the revelations of looting of public funds. This anger stems from not just the fact that money has been pilfered, but also that there seems to be little action from authorities to deal with the characters named thus far.

The anger is further fed by a perception in some quarters that perhaps Government officials are not serious about rooting out corruption, despite President Mugabe’s firm declaration of zero tolerance for the vice.

This was exacerbated by a recent directive by Local Government Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo to reinstate suspended Harare town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi, who Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni had put on ice for three months for failing to reveal what kind of salaries are being paid to managers at council.

And that Mayor Manyenyeni wrote a reinstatement letter to Dr Mahachi, despite claiming in public that he does not know why the town clerk is reporting for duty, will only further fuel anger among people who think that the State machinery is not serious about stamping out abuse of public offices and funds.

The authorities will tell us that they cannot rush to prosecute people on the basis of newspaper reports. That is correct and we support it fully. Our issue though would be this: are the arms of Government seriously telling the nation that they were not aware of what has been going on and that they are hearing it for the first time in the media?

Surely, someone somewhere knew of these shenanigans and has ample evidence to secure dismissals and prosecutions wherever appropriate. In the concerned companies, at their parent ministries, in police offices, in Anti-Corruption Commission safes, and at Chaminuka Building, surely among all these there is sufficient documentation to have action taken much quicker.

Government cannot be waiting for the media to expose corruption; Government must be telling the media how it is dealing with corruption. Beyond those cases that have been reported on, there are many people in Government and at parastatals who have information on other incidences and patterns of graft and abuse and these should be acted on without first having to wait for media exposure.

It should be made clear to the corrupt that they are better off resigning now rather than waiting for media exposure and subsequent public trials. Because they certainly shall be exposed, and the public shall demand justice.

What we ask Government now is: what is it doing?



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    Frank 10 years ago

    This is a good article is correct to the bone . It appears government is doing nothing. This means most beneficiaries of this looting are highly placed government officials who are required now arrest these culprits . All they are now saying is that cant dwell on the past or that newspapers can’t give sufficient evidence. So mr editor font cry about sanctions the real problem is ourselves

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    This editorial coment,comming from the Herald makes good reading. Lots of valid points have been raised. The only problem is that the public would not be wanting them to resign. They should be relieved of thier duties, assets frozen pending an investigation, and if the allegations are proved to be correCt prosecuted. That “he has been punished enough” by Moyo wont wash.Chombo needs to also be relieved of his duties and investigated.AND THEN I WOKE UP…

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      We pay huge Zesa bills and yet we have constant power cuts and now are told that tariffs are going up quite substantially!! Where is the money going? The same goes for every government department. What about the toll gate charges (our roads are a mess and the company that was fixing the Harare Mutare road were never paid), the radio licensing fees, rates (there is litter everywhere, pavements are not kept tidy, the place stinks of sewage) Where does the money go!! And yet there are some ministers that are stinking rich and proud of it! Shame on you!!

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    I am beginning to realise that the power of public protest cannot be ignored forever by any politician.The fact that a state media is coming out with this strong criticism gives me hope that our outcry is being listened to,hopefully somebody in government will at last take action to minimise this corruption and looting.
    What is needed is one strong action taken against one of these looters,then the rest will be scared to death because these guys are chance takers who are very weak and stupid in their looting style.I am sure these managers in Harare city are now having sleepless nights because they do not know what the end game will be.Their families are now suffering mentally because wherever they go their friends look at them with shame and hate for what their fathers and husbands have done to inflict suffering to the masses.
    It is right to say crime does not pay because it has serious side effects to your family.

  • comment-avatar
    C .MOYO 10 years ago