via Boards of directors: Conduits for theft June 24, 2014 by Deja with Kamurai Mudzingwa
If Zimbabweans were in doubt about the contemptuous attitude of those who are looting their wealth, they should take a look at the recently appointed boards to run State-owned institutions.
Not only do most of the appointments lack seriousness, but they show that those who are governing this country are showing us the middle finger.
Yes, their actions send the message clear — they can do what they want with this country and to hell with economic recovery.
Economic recovery, what economic recovery?
Those who dream of economic recovery are just that — dreamers.
Dreamers who do not understand something called public choice theory whose tenets are that holders of public office and politicians do everything for their own benefit.
In Zimbabwe, this is made worse by the fact that these people are above the law. They are untouchables.
Some of these board members and chairpersons are proven failures.
Others, judging by the scandals they were embroiled in, are suspected crooks. But it takes a crook to appoint a crook.
The board system in Zimbabwe is no longer used as a conduit for good corporate governance, it has become a conduit for looting, hence the appointment of people with dirty backgrounds and of dubious relevant skills and expertise.
And nepotism is no longer a hidden phenomenon. It is now more pronounced than daylight.
Nephews, brothers, cousins, sisters and who knows, girlfriends, populate the boards.
It is not about economic turnaround, it is about taking relatives within the vicinity of the national cake as much as possible or to use them as direct pipelines for siphoning national wealth.
And patronage is rife. Some people who were rejected by the electorate were rewarded with board membership and it would be foolish to expect such people to work in the interest of the nation.
Naturally, they will serve the interest of politicians first.
We have had certain ministers appointing the same cronies to boards under every ministry they head.
Is there some kind of evil spirit circulating within the ruling elite to make them soulless? Yes, man is said to be inherently evil but to say these looters are evil is the same as describing them as angels.
We need new vocabulary to describe the way they are heartlessly scheming to loot resources.
It is the irony of our times that boards, touted the world over as custodians of good corporate governance, have been made to assume a new role in Zimbabwe — misdirecting wealth into the pockets of a heartless few.
And who can query these appointments?
This is Zimbabwe where the ruling cult does as it pleases, trampling on the souls of the unfortunate majority.
And their selfishness and greed have reached unparallelled levels.
For the benefit of the naïve, let’s revisit Thomas Jefferson’s words: “Mankind soon learn to make interested uses of every right and power which they possess, or may assume. The public money and public liberty . . . will soon be discovered to be sources of wealth and dominion to those who hold them; distinguished, too, by this tempting circumstance, that they are the instrument, as well as the object of acquisition. With money we will get men, said Caesar, and with men we will get money. Nor should our assembly be deluded by the integrity of their own purposes, and conclude that these unlimited powers will never be abused, because themselves are not disposed to abuse them.
They should look
forward to a time, and that not a distant one, when a corruption in this, as in the country from which we derive our origin, will have seized the
heads of government, and be spread by them through the body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the people, and make them pay the price.” — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1784 [colour added]
These prophetic words by Jefferson seem to have been directed at those in power in Zimbabwe.
Need we say more?