Sing a new song Mr President

via Sing a new song Mr President March 18, 2014 by Rashweat Mukundu NewsDay

For many times in the past few months, President Robert Mugabe has informed citizens of this country of the level of corruption within the government.

At yet another birthday bash for him last week, he announced that a known Minister had demanded thousands of dollars in bribes to facilitate a meeting between the President and a businessman.

It is becoming less difficult to believe Mugabe (90) now is being misled and misinformed by his juniors, the Godwills Masimirembwa issue being a case in point. And the President is now in the habit of announcing his displeasure at public forums without telling us the corresponding action.

In this regard, we simply ask the president to act by dismissing the concerned minister and taking corrective action so that no such acts of distrust happen again.

This could be the end of this article, but then the problems are much deeper than the President simply acting because chances are that he won’t and chances are that this minister will be part of the Cabinet meeting this week and nothing will happen to him now and in the future.

It is for this reason that I say it is better that senior government officials including Mugabe stop making public pronouncements on corruption and simply act, so that what the media reports about and what citizens talk about is not the President’s statements lamenting corruption, but the actions by him and the court cases in which this particular minister and many other hoodlums in this government have to defend themselves against allegations of corruption.

The lamentations by Mugabe tell us that the problems are much deeper than we probably ever thought, for the President seems unable to deal with them himself. He is not addressing the problems, then the cry is: Who shall save us from this scourge?

The question has to be asked: When will Mugabe sing a new song about corruption, when will he tell us that we are now on the road to addressing corruption within government circles? At the moment all we hear are cries of disapproval and no action. It is also important to note that the debilitating corruption is not that at traffic road blocks by police where $5 changes hands, it is not that at the driver licensing queues where $20 or $50 changes hands.

This “small” corruption is unacceptable as not all of us have $20 to pay for a licence, but the most damaging corruption is done by the powerful and it involves millions of dollars. Millions from Chiadzwa diamonds fields, millions from Zinara, millions from Zesa, ZBC, NRZ and all these are directly under the ambit of State structures and Mugabe is the CEO.

So I am not worried about what happens at the traffic roadblock, but what happens to the millions from Zinara meant for road repairs? In any case, it is the leadership that sets the pace. When they buy mansions and latest cars from corrupt deals, the message is sent clear and loud to the lesser beings about what to aspire for, that is the good life from ill-gotten wealth.

So while the minister and permanent secretary steal millions, the government office cleaner steals brooms and toilet paper. The fish rots from the head as the Chinese say, so until action is taken and a new value system induced then we are all learning or aspiring to be corrupt because the leadership says this is ok.

This problem is much deeper because the whole system seems unable to function, those who are supposed to police the corrupt are themselves struggling with dealing with corruption. It is for this reason that the President needs not announce how corrupt his ministers and senior staff are, but how many he has sent to jail. By his own admission, the prisons are there and somewhat empty these days because of the amnesty.

Mr President, please send your ministers there so that such action becomes the news. Almost all the cases that the President has talked about from diamonds, gold, “facilitation” fees by ministers and those close to him, finally tell of a system that has broken down. It appears that everything centres on the President and the closer one is to the President the more one can abuse his name and office by throwing it around and at every place.

As ordinary citizens, we have also caught up on how power is centred in Zimbabwe. As many of us threaten those who owe us a $1 or so by throwing names of police officers, army officers and CIOs we know. The daring ones will even claim to work for the Presidents’ Office to smoothen and quicken things up.

Schools are known to reserve a number of places for those who will come with letters from the Office of the President. So it is important Mr President, that as you send the minister to Chikurubi or Khami or Marondera prison, you also clean up the image of the President’s Office.

The Office of the President is esteemed and in normal societies people aspire to work for that Office. In Zimbabwe, however, the mention sends shivers down our spines. And for our ministers the name is money-making machine and this, by Mugabe’s own admission. It appears that power must be decentralised and that checks and balances must be effective.

As we speak, the so called provincial assemblies are nowhere in sight. If set well, these could be places for local communities to engage local leaders on developmental issues. Year in and year out we read about the Comptroller-General’s reports on corruption within the government, yet there has never been a public response on action taken.

The Comptroller-General is a voice in the wilderness wasting taxpayers’ money because no one listens to or respects her findings. This to me is the starting point for the President. And hopefully action against corruption at the higher levels will be taken one day with or without the President giving consent.

Up and until then I hope the President talks about other things other than corruption. Corruption needs no more idle talk, just action.

lRashweat Mukundu is a Zimbabwean journalist. He can be reached on


  • comment-avatar
    Roving Eagle 9 years ago

    How can corrupt act on corruption. mugarbage is the father of corruption.

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      Tjingababili 9 years ago


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    Nyoni 9 years ago


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    Lindy Lou 9 years ago

    All I can say to you is stop bloody whinging and demand Democracy.Stand up to the corruption,hypocrisies,looting pillaging ,raping,murder and down right thieving.
    You won’t will you because all you do is whine.
    Bunch of bloody cowards.

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    zvichanaka 9 years ago

    The President is the commander in chief of corruption, so how can you suggest he takes action. Dream on Mukundu, our president himself is the problem Zimbabwe faces today.

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    John Thomas 9 years ago

    People now depend on corruption to make a living. It is the only thing left that enables the system to stagger on. This is not a simple knot to untie. It will take many years to undo even with the best will in the world and at the moment that will does not exist except in a minority of citizens. We all know if we want to get something done quickly and efficiently we are going to have to pay. The alternative is endless humiliations, queues and disappointments.

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    Roving Ambassador 9 years ago

    Mugabe the epitome of corruption

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    I prefer to be humiliated to stick to my integrity and free conscience,thus why I refuse to pay any bribe to get service.We should not allow frustration and punitive reaction from these corrupt and misguided people to intimidate us to submission,otherwise they have won the looting race.
    These looters are the end losers,because resources decline as we go on eg Nigeria was so corrupt during the Bhashia years of rule but now they have chosen the reasonable path to economic progress.I really feel pity for these looters and corrupt people who cannot survive by doing genuine work because they have no human conscience,worse than animals which kill for a reason to feed themselves.
    Why have 10 cars when you can only use one car at a time?This is stupidity and senseless.This is why I really feel pity for them because they lack common sense and wisdom.When you ask them why they need all these things ,they have no logical explanation to give you because they are dull and selfish in their mentality.

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      Well said Mixed race. God is never going to bless our sin. There is no excuse for all this and we all just become an extension of a rotten and corrupt government. We all need to search out our hearts before God. I often wonder why we expect God’s blessings on our lives but cave into everything that is wrong. May God have mercy on this nation.

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    Mlimo 9 years ago

    I can see clearly now the investors have gone? How about that song? Here’s another version: I can see clearly now the diamonds are gone, or I can see clearly now there are no trees left, or I can see clearly now the whites have gone. Pity what zanupf can’t see is that they have run out of time. So if Mugabe wants to sing anew song maybe it should be I can see clearly now I must step down? Preferable go and kick the bucket and do us all a favour!

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    Guvnor 9 years ago

    The contradiction is the inordinate desire to stay in power whilst denying any responsibility, refusing to be accountable and failure to manage the executive. The long stint in office is worthless if it does not address the real problems facing the citizens of Zimbabwe.

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    Action plan needs to be driven by the way to get rid of the corruption and as the nation we need feedback on the case.

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    Mapingu 9 years ago

    The problem is the lack of discerning in most us Zimboz. I don’t know why we are so incapable of reading anything regardless how boldly written, acted, repeated or whatever, a thing is. Most of us seem to have brains of a couple weeks old toddlers. It is becoz of such intellectual deficit in most of us that when Mugabe is actually boasting of corruption some people foolishly misinterpret his boasting to crying or something of that sort. Mugabe is a person who finds pleasure in boasting about such things, not crying over or about them. He likes boasting about evil things. Do we forget that: he boasts of degrees in violence, torture , murder, etc. So why should it matter if the same old man makes it his other habit to boast of his most corrupt cabinet in the world.

    The old man has all the power to punish anyone in Zim, even innocent people, so why would he fail to punish wrong-doers if he wanted to? Fact of the matter, Mugabe does not like clean people around him. For Mugabe to entertain you around him, you need to be at least as dirty as he is – so those ministers who some people cry about as most corrupt are actually his favorites.

    In short, those day-dreamers who expect Mugabe to punish his corrupt Cabinet members are going to wait for as long as the man is in office – in short that will never happen. That is simply, expecting the biblical Devil or Satan to punish murderers, rapist, Satanists, etc.. Is that rational??

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    What is happening in Zimbabwe is no different than what happened in the Soviet union, China and other countries in Eastern Europe.Who can really go back and blame the populace or the majority that thought Mugabe had led them to the land of plenty. The white people were leaving in droves in 1980 in fear of reprisals. They were selling off their houses and belongings at bargain prices. Jobs were available in sectors where the Whites that left vacancies. Civil servant housing in the low density ares was becoming available to blacks in those sector concerned. Food was cheap and with more money available it was the land of milk and honey. In the meantime the Dictator was slowly dismantling the security structures and replacing them with his own. The people took their eye of that particular ball because they were living well.When the fifth brigade went on their killing spree in some parts of the country it went unnoticed. This was faze 2 clean out the opposition and bring that particular part of the country to it’s knees. When faze 3 came (dismantling the manufacturing base in Bulawayo) eyebrows started getting raised. It was too late.Policemen that were impartial were retired.Some left because they did not sing to the regimes tune. If people start understanding that this is a dictator that wanted to form a one party state and failed because of the Lancaster house agreement then you start to see the reason for the rigging. Like all Dictatorships it will and is collapsing. It looks good on paper, but when the killing, cheating and stealing starts it becomes a hundred times worse than democracy and is doomed to fail. Please carry on with your positive feeds. You have no Idea what good you guys on this forum are doing. Don’t let anybody tell you different. Reverend and NBS continue to pray with us. Help us pray for wisdom because wisdom is our secret weapon.

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    Rukweza 9 years ago

    Doctor dolittle you raised a point

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    Johno 9 years ago

    In Matthew Chapter 12 verse 26 Jesus asks ” How can Satan cast out Satan? If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?” I think that statement by Jesus just about sums up our President’s situation.