There is everything wrong with the way the Zanu PF government handles corruption issues.
Since 1980, President Robert Mugabe and his party have always taken corruption as a political rather than a criminal issue and this has led to the downfall of the country’s economy.
It is sad that whenever a corruption issue involving high-ranking figures surfaces, Zanu PF calls for meetings to discuss how “to handle” it. Why should the government call in the politician to solve a criminal issue?
Corruption does not only hurt the economy, but it also undermines the rule of law and creates unnecessary bureaucracies designed for the sole purpose of extorting bribes.
Normally, corruption goes hand in hand with the abuse of office to the detriment of many. We have seen how people abused offices to award themselves and their friends hefty salaries at the expense of the tax-paying public.
We have seen how those in high offices facilitated the mushrooming of land barons through whom they fleeced thousands of their hard-earned money.
These are criminal cases that cry for prosecution and not for the Zanu PF politburo to discuss and “find a way forward”.
The way forward, since 1980, has been to find ways of protecting the felons in high offices most of whom should be jailed for the safety of the economy.
But Zanu PF’s protection of such scumbags has landed us with a wrecked economy.
A few unlucky small fry have been named, shamed or prosecuted to divert attention from the real criminals, most of whom have been recycled in Cabinet portfolios. Because of the actions of these few criminals, the majority are denied quality education, economic opportunity and justice.
But the greatest problem is the impunity with which these criminals go about their business. Because they know that even if they are caught, political rather than criminal prosecution procedures will be instituted, they do as they please.
Corruption has become so endemic that even those who are supposed to deal with the issue can no longer cast the first stone as it were.
They have become part of the intricate web. They are both the actors and the referees; that is why they prescribe political solutions to criminal issues. And these people are only accountable to themselves, not to the majority. The ruling party, by deliberately prescribing a political solution to criminal cases of corruption, becomes a haven for criminals who launch their attacks on the economy from the safe refuge of the party.
In Zimbabwe today, it is difficult to distinguish ministers, MPs and top government officials from criminals.
But as long as those in power deliberately ignore the fact that corruption is criminal and not political, we will wake up one day to find this country literally dead.