via Minister demands bribe – DailyNews Live by Lloyd Mbiba 16 MARCH 2014
President Robert Mugabe yesterday said one of his ministers demanded a $70 000 bribe from a foreign businessman in order to facilitate a meeting with the leader.
The 90-year-old told senior government officials and securocrats, who attended his belated birthday celebrations organised by the Public Service Commission at a local hotel, that corruption was destroying the country.
He singled out a case where an unnamed minister, and a woman from Parliament, demanded bribes from a foreign businessman keen on having an audience with him.
“Corruption! Corruption! Corruption! Yatikuvadza, yakuvadza Africa (has destroyed Africa) terribly. I was being told that a businessman who wants to invest was led to a woman in Parliament, and this lady said ‘yes I can take you to more important people but give me $50 000 and I will open a way for you’. He went to another high placed minister and he (the businessman) said he wants to establish some company ‘take me to the president , Yes, but give me $70 000’,” he said.
Mugabe said the businessman, who has been led to different people all in attempts to meet him, is now telling all and sundry about the bribery scandal involving his ministers.
“And he (the businessman) is telling the story everywhere and ndozvazviri. (that’s what it is) What sort of people are we? We will punish each other. We punish zvitadzo, zvitadzo we punish. Tinovapanisha pano pasi, Mwari anozopanishawo kudenga. VaZimondi (Paradzai) vanawo majere tinokuendesai ikoko nematie enyu monobviswa ikoko. Takambokuendawo tikaabviswa asi takanga tisina corruption tai-ita zvenyika.”(A crime is a crime. We have prisons here on earth but God will also punish you in heaven. We will send you there in your ties and the prison guards will take them off. We have been to prison ourselves but not on corruption but political charges.)
With the country still riveted with the salary scandals involving parastatal bosses who have been reaping off taxpayers, Mugabe admitted that Zimbabwe is now bogged down by graft now pervasive even among the law enforcement agents — the police.
“But we don’t want people to undergo unnecessary suffering. But it’s happening everywhere, Chemuhomwe! Chemuhomwe! Chemuhomwe! (bribes, bribes, bribes) Let’s do our work well. We have a very beautiful public service structure. Chirwere ichi chakapindawo nekumapurisa kwese kwese, hatidi izvozvo hakusi kuNigeria kuno,” he said. (The bribery cancer has even spread to the police).
Mugabe warned diamond mining companies in Chiadzwa, which are currently at loggerheads with government as they remit pittance to the treasury, that if officials are caught in shoddy dealings the law will take its course.
“Kwese ikoko kunana Chiadzwa, kunana Marange tinoda kunyatsoona kuti zvanga zvichifamba sei. Kana kune corruption yanga ichiitika ikoko tikaidzumbunura chete people will answer for that (We will be watching every corner to establish what has been happening including the diamond mining areas of Chiadzwa and Marange. Should we unearth traces of corruption people will be brought to book),” Mugabe said.
The president’s threat comes hardly a day after Walter Chidhakwa, Mines minister, said government would rather halt all diamond mining in Marange than let firms operating there continue fleecing the country of millions of United States dollars through understating the real value of the stones they extract and sell through cartels.
Chidhakwa said he was boosting monitoring mechanisms to ensure that the country realises true value from its resources.
Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources, Anjin Investments, Jinan and Diamond Mining Company have however made it clear that government never approached them on the Marange-Zimunya Community Share Ownership Trust in which they were supposed to contribute $10 million each.