Corruption, part of Zim fabric

via Corruption, part of Zim fabric – DailyNews Live by Fungi Kwaramba  2 MARCH 2014

If Maurice Nyagumbo, the former Cabinet minister, who allegedly killed himself after having being fingered in the Willowgate scandal in 1989 was to rise from the dead he would regret having taken his life over a Toyota Cressida vehicle.

Now things have changed, ministers are living large and none, “even if fingered in corruption” is honourable enough to throw-in the towel.

Instead they cling on and sometimes brag about it. With houses ensconced on mountain tops, and fat bank accounts, the country’s political elite seem immune and beyond the reach of the long arm of law.

That corruption thrives in Zimbabwe is hardly earth shattering or new.

In 1989, the nationalist government led by President Robert Mugabe, still fresh from the guerrilla war and shaking off the socialist ideology, were caught in a shocking looting spree that led to Nyagumbo’s inglorious death.

After independence, Zimbabwe had adopted a socialist-inspired economy.

Efforts to circumvent protectionist policies, and suffocating bureaucracies left the country largely susceptible to widespread corruption.

The Willowgate scandal sucked in ministers like Nyagumbo, Enos Nkala, Dzingai Mutumbuka and their spouses, several ministers were shown the exit  door but more survived.

Despite government price control regulations in the 1980s, the political elite used their influence and contacts to re-sale the cars at market price, something all too common in the country now.

Since then, corruption has not only endured in the southern African country, but has flourished unabated rising to alarming levels.

Paying bribes for the simplest services is routine practice, and this comes from the top echelons in society to those bottom.

The 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, by Transparency International, ranks Zimbabwe at 163 out of 174 countries surveyed over corruption.

While paying petty bribes remains universal, corruption has reached epic proportions with the revelations of shocking salaries of public servants just the tip of the iceberg.

Now dubbed the “Salarygate scandal’’, it has sucked into its vortex ZBC and Psmas, the State-run health insurer for civil servants and also the Harare City Council.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said corruption has become a cancer in the country.

On paper, the country has all the necessary tools to deal with graft, but the institutions are too weak according to Dewa Mavhinga, the chairperson of the Crisis Coalition Zimbabwe.

“We have a good Constitution and laws against graft but the institutions are too weak to deal with the powerful elite. What we need is to build strong structures,” said Mavhinga.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission was last year exposed, when it tried to investigate government ministers, instead of being the hunters the anti-graft body became the hunted.

Analysts say as long as Mugabe pays lip service to corruption the country will remain trapped in a warp of graft.

A barrage of corruption scandals in Zimbabwe, each one more brazen than the one before it, has exposed just how pervasive and pernicious the stealing has become in the country.

Apart from the Willowgate scandal of  the late 80’s which saw five members of Mugabe’s Cabinet resigning the country has witnessed more several jaw dropping cases of corruption and nothing has been done to the perpetrators.

In the early 90’s, the War Victims Compensation Fund (WVCF) was looted by senior government officials and their associates, relatives and friends. The WVCF was established under the War Victims Compensation Act (Chapter 11:16) to compensate victims of war for injuries suffered during the liberation war.

Following reports of mass-scale looting, a Judicial Commission of enquiry was set up and its findings shocked the nation.

Among top officials who benefited from the scam are, police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri, who claimed 20 percent disability, Air Marshal Perence Shiri claimed 50 percent disability, minister of Gender Oppah Muchinguri claimed 65 percent disability and the vice president Joice Mujuru claimed 55 percent.

The late Edgar Tekere claimed that he was 90 percent disabled.

Around 1995, government officials and politicians looted funds contributed by civil servants for accommodation.

The ‘‘pay for your house scheme’’ was shattered when millions of dollars were diverted to build houses for senior government officials.

A total of 185 senior government officials benefitted from the illegal housing scheme at the expense of genuine beneficiaries.

Among the senior government officials named include, First Lady, Grace Mugabe, who had a house built for her at 221 Armthwaite Road, Quinnington, and Borrowdale.

High Court Judge Justice Paddington Garwe, and the then Foreign Affairs minister Stan Mudenge.

In 1999 officials of the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NocZim) were implicated in fraud cases involving Z$238 million.

One of the managers allegedly prejudiced NocZim of Z$802 million while the Permanent Secretary for the ministry of Transport was implicated to the tune of Z$642 million.

Upon a public outcry, arrests were made and the cases were initially heard in the Magistrates’ Courts but the outcome was never made public.

The then minister of Transport (the late Enos Chikowore) resigned as a result of the NocZim corruption.

As a result of that scandal, the country faced serious fuel shortages, which tremendously affected development.

At Zupco, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) arrested and formally charged the former deputy minister of Information and Publicity, minister Bright Matonga for alleged corruption.

The deputy minister allegedly solicited for bribes while he was the chief executive officer (CEO) of the State-owned bus company, Zupco.

He was charged together with Zupco board chairperson, Charles Nherera after they both allegedly solicited a $85 000 bribe from a foreign bus supplier (Gift Investments) as an inducement for them to award a tender to supply buses to the public transporter.

The suspiciously rich minister of Local Government and National Housing, Ignatius Chombo is one of the few senior government officials whose assets have been publicly exposed through some divorce proceedings.

This seems to be the tip of the iceberg since there could be many other senior officials who have similar or more wealth.

Enter the 2010 to 2013 era of Constituency Development Fund (CDF), 10 legislators, six from Zanu PF and four from MDC failed to account for $50 000 advanced to them from the CDF, a facility meant for developmental projects in constituencies. But several MPs were never touched. It is alleged that the arrests were blocked by the Office of the Attorney General.

In a shocking report Global Witness in its June 2012 report cites the unfortunate, illegal and well-coordinated involvement of the secret police, military and some diamond companies. According to the report Zimbabwe lost nearly $2 billion from opaque diamond dealings.

According to Tsvangirai, expecting Mugabe to deal decisively with corruption is like expecting a “mosquito to cure malaria.”

Latest figures released by tax collector, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, the country lost $2 billion to corruption for the year 2012.



  • comment-avatar
    Sekuru Mapenga 8 years ago

    The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil..

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    John Thomas 8 years ago

    When you accept a bribe you are selling yourself in the same way a prostitute sells her/himself.

    Those of you who live this way please understand that when decent people look at you this is how they see you. You are not glamorous. You are used and diseased and not fit for decent company.

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    The saddest thing here is that zimbabweans just observe and do nothing while mugabe and zanupf squander their ill gotten wealth.
    Do todays zimbabweans not think that if they do nothing this is exactly what their children are going to inherit and their childrens children.Surely you have a responsibility to your offspring.??????????????????????????

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      Africanson 8 years ago

      zim reeper what do you suggest Zimbabweans should do? I am working for my salary out of Zimbabwe. I am not stealing from anyone. I am looking after my mother who is in Zimbabwe and my brother who is doing his last year of University studies in zim. what do you want them to do? They eat from what i am working and we are a happy family. We are not stealing from anyone and we have never benefitted from gvt stolen money. We would love to keep it that way because my brother must finish his studies and my mother my live peacifully. We are not politicians and we will never be. We will not engange ourselves in any form of politica activism because our safity is not guaranteed from both MDC and ZANU.

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        Rather than be apathetic and accept what you see that is blatantly bad. Not for you but for the Country. Every person who loves his country of birth should stand up for it. Why should you have to run overseas to work, why can your family not be able to survive with the conditions in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans unfortunately have this malaise of putting up their hands and saying “I am not the one”, I do not steal, I do everything good. By not doing anything it means you are waiting in the wings to step in if the opportunity presents itself and help your selves. It means you are also part of the problem and will never be the creator of a solution. It takes courage and balls to stand up out of the crowd and be counted. Too few Zimbabweans have this moral fortitude.

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          chirasha 8 years ago

          God gave people fredom of choice people are not forced to stay in zimbabwe thats why borders are there.if one feels he /she cannot sustain life in zim its not acrime neither nor is it a sin before the one who created the who have been in zim what have done instead you are just groaning

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    Africanson 8 years ago

    Well said Chirasha. The world is now a global village. I am still waiting to hear on what these guys suggest my old mother and young brother should do besides her living per living peacifully and my brother finishing off his studies. I am being practical and realistic. I am not talking about what i read on the internet or newspapers. I dont take advise from politicians and day dreamers.

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    roving ambassador. 8 years ago

    Africanson, I think you are doing your part. I believe we should wean ourselves off the . from any form of influence. Its not 100% possible but the little we do goes a long way. I call it passive resistance. We don’t buy their products, we don’t read their news papers, we don’t watch their tv[which is already happening],we don’t voluntarily attend their meetings and parties. In short we don’t fraternise with them.
    I AM CURRENTLY planning to live in the village with own water, own electricity,own gas so I will not be paying hefty taxes to support this regime until we have a people oriented regime.
    I could write more but got no time.

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      Tawanda 8 years ago

      Let’s admit it, Zimbabweans are ordained cowards. As long as I say it’s not my problem and watch others suffer it will catch up with me one day. Only then will I know the plight of others. As long as one of us is not free there is no need to rejoice. Some have failed to get their work permits renewed and were forced to go back home and face starvation. The country is now rotten to the core. Politicians need to be educated to become human. My point is not that we should not work abroad. but that we should not think if we have a way out then we do not bother about the unfortunate.

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    Nyoni 8 years ago

    If corruption is not eradicted now,any new party formed will simply fall into the trap . The best outcome I believe still is .the constituents of the elected parliamentarians write to them and demand for their removal .this will send a wake up call to all of them not to take us for granted.

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    Africanson 8 years ago

    Its a good idea to take your MP to task but its very easy for these MPs to isolate you and deal with you ruthlessly and the police will just fold their arms or fabrocate a case against you. But how can we deal with executives who are looting in both Public and Private sectors. They are not politicians. Look at Insurance Industry they are also involved in fraudulant claims. I am not trying to protect anyone but the fact is that noone in both gvt and pvt sector seems to care about Zimbabwe. Everyone is preoccupied in peesonal wealthy.

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    Nyoni 8 years ago

    True Africanson but the police cant arrest thousands of people at one time if the petition was handed in to them or the chief whip in this case. There is just not enough resources for these mapolice to respond.

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    Charles Chamunorwa 8 years ago

    Mugabe is part of the problem. He got into power through corruption and what do you expect from him. If he tries to deal with corruption that will be his downfall.

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    Fallenz 8 years ago

    If good men do nothing, if well-intended people say nothing, if no one is willing to present alternatives, if the brave do not take a stand, are they part of the solution or part of the problem.? Freedom is something won… not with a lottery.

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    That Corruption, part of Zimbabe’s fabric I do not subscribe to. Corruption is part of Zanu pf’s fabric. There are those who are corrupt by choice, there are those who are corrupt by design, EG (a specific form of misconduct designed to obtain financial benefits). Most of the population are corrupted by necessity.This is caused by the cybernetics of suffering. I.E. do something corrupt to make sure your family does not starve. Pay a bribe at a roadblock because you don’t want your car to be impounded because you need it so much. In countries like the UK if impounding cars was a way of the police getting bribes they would starve because so many people would want their cars impounded just to get rid of them.