NewsDay Editorial: Corruption is bad for democracy

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It’s now over five months since the new Cabinet was appointed with President Robert Mugabe talking tough against endemic corruption vowing to fight it and pledging government’s commitment.

NewsDay Editorial

But is enough being done and how serious is the government about fighting this scourge?

A recent Afrobarometer survey reveals that one in every five people in Africa has paid one or more times to a government official in the past year, just to get an official document. In Zimbabwe, it could be worse!

A year ago, the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa found that graft among traffic police was worsening, with some officials having accumulated wealth which they could not “justify against their monthly salaries”.

In the last few weeks, there have been reports exposing obscene public sector salaries with top managers earning as much as $230 000. This is coming at a time the country’s economy is regressing. As many as 700 firms closed shop last year mainly because the economy is not performing while essential national obligations in service delivery all have had to share a meagre $4,1 billion cake.

The delay in announcing the 2014 budget by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa pointed to the bankruptcy of the government and it is unthinkable that those in public office could be sanctioned by State-appointed boards to behave so shamelessly over the management of meagre public funds.

It is important that the government leads the fight against corruption with urgency.

The social injustice of such gross greed cannot go unchallenged.

Deterrent punitive action must be taken against errant public officials than suspension and mere dismissals from duty while they walk away with their loot and in some cases, huge packages.

This is a breach of public trust that needs to be publicly dealt with to assure the nation’s struggling multitudes that the government is at least on their side.

The corruption playing out in the country hurts the poor and weak the most, 60% of whom live in poverty, without basic services like water, electricity or shelter because there is supposedly not enough resources to build new infrastructure, improve or extend it to new areas of urban or rural expansion.

This is reason enough for Mugabe to bring sanity and a transparent corporate governance culture that promotes and upholds an ethos of honest stewardship in Zimbabwe.

Graft is bad for democracy because people who “perceive higher levels of corruption within State institutions and those who have engaged in petty corruption” are more likely not to value democracy.

On the economic front, corruption is known to discourage investment as it increases the cost of business and uncertainty over profits.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Not a single person in zim was punished for curruption. Wats e purpose of suspending a person without taking punitive measures. Imagine someone pocketing 230k whilist some nurses at some hospitals that receive psms ddnt get their bonus coz dube ddnt pay the money. Why giving a monopoly of joining psms in public service

    • @Berts- Knowing the thieves is enough. We know nothing will be done to them but now we know where to put our wallets when these thieves are around and that is enough for now. Imagine their children at school..their wives at the saloons and so on..In fact the public doles out worse punishment than the courts..If I was one of these fellows I would prosecute myself..It is better than the silent court of public opinion whose judgement is worse than that doled out by the courts. Dont they say ‘Nyadzi dzinokunda rufu?’

  2. Corruption is bad but the worst thing is NEPOTISM. All this is due to nepotism. Check on the names mentioned. If only there were other people who still have a conscience then all would have been exposed long back. People are now mastered by money instead of being the masters of money.

    • I agree. Nepotism breeds corruption. Who in their mind would send his/her uncle or brother to jail over fraud?

      And why should I care about the economy when the Gvt does not care!??! The day I see the jails full of top Gvt officials (I dont mean the clerks or the workshop manager – ministers, permanent secretaries, deputy ministers, etc) is the day I will trust this Gvt. Till then my personal war continues!

  3. this corruption starts somewere wait and see they all get of the hook. because even those who want to punish him will still act like corrupt rats like they are. we are tired of being played back and forth by these corrupt officials. we now need new blood. I wonder what will happen if a probe was to be done into this administration and everything they administer I wonder what we will find hidden.

  4. Even this paper itself is corrupt, inaccurate stories, hate speech, false stories and trying to
    report positively about well known idiots. the country stinks of corruption everywhere, maybe the ZPF corruption is better because its smarter than these idiots who call for sanctions and at the same time loot the country’s scarce resources when given the slightest chance to be in power in the name of fake democracy.

  5. reason,,,,,,you are a zanu paid agent ..i know it….and you cant deny it….so its obvious that you gona sugar coat corruption emminating from you guy….you seem to also have a hand….sanctions,,,blah blah blah,,,,,,,stop bleeeting and dont be arrogant….you just admit that your black gvt failed….you are the biggest racist..admit black faliure if you sincere

  6. since i see you hate the west,you better go back to hunting and gatherin mazhanjes,,,,,,,and stop eating maize…it was never a native of this country…it was introduced by foreingers whom you loath…and close down your parliament housing thugs ,coz its a replica of the house of commons…dont use us dollar …go and barter trade …hypocrite…..im positive sure that you look more western than me..bet on that…

  7. We live in a country/society where you go to jail and have a criminal record for stealing a loaf of bread but if you steal via corruption fraud etc millions and millions of US dollars you walk free and even become more accepted into society with hero status. SHAME SHAME on the president for having created such a situation . SORRY WRONG its we the people who actually created the monster, because we still vote these corrupt BASTARDS into office year after year for 34 years now. We are reaping what we sow.

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