Of graft and forgotten scandals – Cathy Buckle

via Of graft and forgotten scandals – DailyNews Live by Cathy Buckle 26 MARCH 2014

Everyone knows that once you have tasted chocolate, you will never again be satisfied with a boiled sweet.

A taste of the good life among our leaders and public servants has reached epidemic proportions and it’s long past the time to stop talking and threatening but to start acting

It has been nearly two weeks since President Robert Mugabe told the sensational story of how a businessman who wanted to invest in Zimbabwe was directed to a female MP who could assist him.

The MP then proceeded to tell the businessman she required $50 000 in order to facilitate introductions to the right connections.

The businessman then approached another MP and the only difference was this time the bribe being demanded was

$70 000. Mugabe apparently fumed when he heard this: “What sort of people are we?”, he demanded adding that corruption had destroyed Africa, that a crime was a crime and corrupt people would be sent to prison.

That was a fortnight ago and still we are waiting for answers: who was the female MP who demanded a $50 000 bribe? Who was the male MP demanding a $70 000 bribe?

Have they been suspended from office? Are they being investigated? When will they be charged and their cases come to court? Zimbabweans have a right to know — we voted for these individuals to represent us in Parliament and our taxes pay their wages.

After a week of sensational headlines over the Cabinet directive that no State enterprise, parastatal or local authority boss  would be allowed to earn more than $6 000 a month, there was one statement that was overlooked in the furore.

Asked why it had taken so long for government to act on the huge salaries that public sector CEO’s were being paid, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the problem dated back to the start of the dollarisation era, when people apparently adopted the “hyperinflation mentality.” Chinamasa said:

“There was too much quarrelling in the inclusive government and we could not focus our energy on anything.’’

Too much quarrelling and unfocused energy are hardly acceptable excuses for a government not to act for five years while an orgy of looting of public money was underway.

It’s common knowledge that huge allowances, hiding behind apparently reasonable salaries, are not new. They haven’t just been happening since February 2009.

Just last week in Parliament, the MDC  MP for Mabvuku and Tafara wanted to know how it was that MPs who apparently only earn $3 000 a month own three-storey houses and numerous vehicles all of which are clearly worth millions of dollars. Where did they get all their money from?

Bribery and corruption are hardly new either. Our history since independence is littered with high-profile multi-million dollar corruption scandals.

In September 2012, the Anti Corruption Trust (Act) of Southern Africa released a damning report on corruption in Zimbabwe.

They highlighted 14 “forgotten cases” which despite being publicised in the media Act say: “all seem to have been forgotten,” yet evidence in support of prosecution was abundant in most of the cases.

Included in the Act list are cases everyone remembers such as the War Victims Compensation Fund, the Willowvale Scandal, the VIP Housing Scheme Scandal and the Noczim Scandal.

ACT also exposed more recent scandals which took place during land reform and the GNU. These include diamonds, fertiliser, Kondozi, Harare airport, the Constituency Development Fund and others.

Names and details are given in the Act report, along with recommendations for action; one of which is to challenge individuals who are implicated to exonerate themselves.

In plain English: if you aren’t the one, prove it.



  • comment-avatar
    Roving Ambassador 8 years ago

    Ooohhh Mgabe, Maurice Nyagumbo must be turning in his grave. He shamefully killed himself for a mare Toyota cresida ,costing $15000 or less.
    Some have stolen billions and they won’t resign.
    One has turned 90,sleeps on the job and won’t retire.
    Treasonous malcontents.

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    Antonio delgado 8 years ago

    Graft and corruption are zimbabwes middle names….

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    apolitical 8 years ago

    Amazing only corrupt Zanu officials, MDC officials are exempt because they looted more.
    Our MDC anti corruption committee took 5 yesrs salary and perks and didn’t in 5 ters find one anti corruption case?
    Show me one poor former MDC minister that is poor? Illustrating the level of looting they even asked for packages when they failed to keep their posts for the first time in history.
    To day their councilors refuse to take reasonable salaries and those appointed in Zesa by the former MDC minister are deliberately forgotten by the journalist.
    It were better that the journalist retired rather than write such an unbalanced article separating corruption by political parties.
    Corruption is corruption, MDC illustrated they could do better by the wealth they accumulated in a much shorter time.

    • comment-avatar
      nesbert majoni 8 years ago

      U ar very stupid Mr so called apitical

    • comment-avatar
      Fallenz 8 years ago

      Oh Apolitical, there you go making jokes again. You point out a few cases of non-ZANUPF involved in corruption, but go ahead and point to a ZANUPF official who is clean. Point to one who has not become extremely wealthy in very short order, with evidence of corruption as the source. You see, funny man, deflection doesn’t work, but that’s what’s so hilarious about your spiel. Gotta admit, you do have a good routine. Do you headline in a comedy club somewhere. You’re Jewish, right?

      By-the-way, the guilty are guilty, no matter the logo they carry. Oops, didn’t mean to divert your punch line.

    • comment-avatar

      Compose you answer, perhaps include some facts, and people may start listening to you, “Appy”

      But it seems you are trying to hide a mountain behind a molehill

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      spiralx 8 years ago

      The MDC did not come out of the inclusive govt unstained by corruption and graft, no. But their contribution pales in comparison with the 30-years-and-ongoing collective effort of ZANU criminality. The story of Sally Mugabe laughing at Customs as officials found illegal cash hidden in her car, en route to SA, tells you how long that mentality has ruled.

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    Senzachena 8 years ago

    Apolitical, I do not condone corrupt MDC officials but they are a drop in the ocean compared to those aligned to ZANU PF, all of them must be prosecuted and locked up. You are just trying to use smoke and mirrors to stop the fingers being pointed in the ZANU direction. Wake up brother your days are numbered, I would be grateful if you would stop wasting yours and our time writing this c..p, you would be better employed thinking how to feed your family in the future. Just remember it wont be long before you will not recieve a salary at the end of the month.

  • comment-avatar

    Corruption has no boundaries, it happens in public or private. I think as a nation we should expend more of our energies in coming up with strategies to reduce its existence in our society rather than mudslinging we are doing.

    • comment-avatar
      Senzachena 8 years ago

      Makotsi, it is very simple to “come up with strategies”, you arrest those involved, get a decent police offical (Not a thug) to prepare a docket, get a prosecutor to present the case infront of an independant magistrate or judge (Not an appointed boot licker), get a conviction and lock up those involved for a very long time. That is all you have to do and corruption will stop. The problem of course is that this does not, and never will happen whilst you have corrupt thieves and murderers running the show. So spare us your wise and sage advice. Zanu trash

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    Mixed Race 8 years ago

    @Apolitical-What do you want done to the looters from both parties to stop the corruption rot?You seem to know a lot about looting and corruption in Zesa so be a man and deal with the problem to save our economy.It does not matter whom you support,we all have a serious cancer within ourselves we need to control.
    Do not allow yourself to be governed by cheap hatred because you seem to be an intelligent middle aged person who can help in the development of our country.I might have assessed your personal profile wrongly but in most cases I am about 65% correct.All these looters should have been in jail by now to lessen our problems.Its cheaper to feed them in jails since we have plenty of cabbages from small scale farmers.

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    Tongoona 8 years ago

    Many comments have been given on this subject most of them advising government to bring the culprits to book but government seems to have ignored forum’s advice. The lack of action by government to curb graft and other corrupt tendencies may encourage corruption instead of curbing it. The law must take its course.

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    a political too 8 years ago

    My friend your comments are not apolitical, they are biased….corruption is corruption. How many zanu chefs and their minions own more than 1 farm….? is this not corruption? Not only did they take farms but looted every last asset, there is a huge difference between reform and blatant theft, I know of many lands officers receiving bribes in cash and kind.e.g. cars etc, not to mention exhorbitant salaries for parastatal Ceos…lavish weddings, birthdays etc while the whole country is burning….Micah 6v8″No the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love and to live in constant fellowship with our God” Fair is fair corruption across the board should stop…..pre 1997 this country was prosperous and almost corruption free…there is no such thing as a quick buck as we have all become greedy for instant gratification, honest and hard work is rewarded by the Lord….

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    The Truth. 8 years ago

    Scandals and graft are a gukurahundi culture!

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    Suzuki 8 years ago

    What about all the cases that have not been reported? What we see and hear in the public domain is probably the tip of a huge iceberg. We are probably wasting our time discussing it in forums such as this one. If we are not able to do anything practical about it, then we are in a state of capitulation and must concentrate on feeding, clothing and housing our families.