via Crisis Coalition says corruption fight has lost lustre | The Zimbabwean 27.05.14 by Sofia Mapuranga
Government’s failure to deal with corrupt public officials shows lack of political will and has discredited its purported anti-graft fight, says Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC).
Numerous exposes from the beginning of the year have indicated that corruption is rife in government, parastatal and municipal offices, but not much has been done to bring the culprits to book.
CiZC spokesperson, Thabani Nyoni, said government was not committed to fighting the scourge as shown by its failure to address institutional corruption.
“The corruption fight has lost its lustre. Government does not have the capacity to deal with the problem (because it is has been insitutionalised),” Nyoni told The Zimbabwean, and accused the State of indifference in the wake of corruption exposes.
Referring to the a vehicle scandal in the late 1980s when government ministers and senior officials bought cars at low prices and profiteered by reselling them—the Willowgate scandal—after which a commission of inquiry was instituted but the subsequent report kept under wraps, Nyoni said government had never been willing to effectively tackle corruption head on.
“The first scandals in 1988 and 1989 resulted in a Commission that came up with a report containing recommendations. That report never saw the light of day although it was supposed to be in the public domain,” he said.
Nyoni warned that corruption would escalate unless government found means of fighting it at the institutional level.
“The challenge with our systems in Zimbabwe is that we tend to focus too much on individuals and not on the systems,” said Nyoni.
He cited the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as an example and said the Chief Executive Officer, Happison Muchechetere worked in cahoots with the organisation’s board and the whole company was supposed to be investigated.
“Was he a one man band? It is surprising that people can be talking about him and leaving out members of the board who approved his salary,” he said.
Muchechetere was reported to have earned more than $40,000 a month at a time most of the staffers at the public broadcaster went for months without salaries.
He is currently being prosecuted for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for a broadcasting van.