President Robert Mugabe (87) on Saturday conceded he was surrounded by wannabes and corrupt people, but admitted there was nothing he could do to stop the virus.
The President, who is increasingly becoming lonely following the deaths of his close lieutenants — the latest being former military chief Retired General Solomon “Rex Nhongo” Mujuru — said: “Corruption is there in the country among us and only a thief gets rich overnight. We have laws and we don’t want a country of thieves, but we want a country of people with discipline.
“Even thieves are in our house, but we can only cook for them and tomorrow you hear they have stolen goats from the Mutambaras.”
He was speaking at the burial of General Mujuru, who was burnt to death on Tuesday in a mysterious fire at his Alamein Farm, Beatrice, Harare South.
His admission gave credence to a NewsDay report last week that with the continued depletion of President Mugabe’s former inner cabal and others, he was now surrounded by newcomers who have been fingered in corruption and have an insatiable appetite for power.
The latest revelation also confirmed Transparency International (TI)’s — a global body fighting corruption — recent report that there was no political will in the country to fight corruption.
TI projects manager for Africa Servaas Feiertag recently told NewsDay: “There is no political will to prosecute (alleged corrupt officials) in Zimbabwe.
At the moment, Zanu PF and MDC are in the government together, but there remains no political will. Zimbabwe’s case is a complicated one because many forces are in control now despite the inclusive government. No one knows when the elections are coming or when the country will have a new constitution.”
However, President Mugabe said the indigenisation programme did not mean beneficiaries should get rich overnight by exploiting others.
He said beneficiaries of the indigenisation process should know they were not working for self-enrichment, but were working for the nation.
Analysts have accused President Mugabe of being too soft on corrupt officials in the government who had amassed wealth at the expense of ordinary Zimbabweans.