Forward with factionalism!

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Corruption in Zimbabwe has gone mad. The tangled web of lies, deceit and monumental fraud is unravelling.

Echoes by Conway Tutani

The true nature of those in power is beginning to emerge with each new revelation of high-level corruption. People are beginning to realise that whites are not necessarily their worst enemies; that whites have been cynically used to divert attention from those hellbent on abusing their positions for obscene self-enrichment at ruinous expense to the nation; that colonial exploitation is child’s play compared to what they are being subjected to today at the hands of fellow blacks.

“Minorities make for great scapegoats in all walks of life. If we can just place the blame on this small group of people, then it means there’s nothing really wrong with the rest of us,” writes blogger “David”.

Those who had allowed their political persuasion to cloud their objectivity now realise that corruption is inherent in mankind; that it knows no racial or ideological bounds. It’s about human greed found from China to Chile, from Norway to Namibia.

Immediate past Zambian President Rupiah Banda was in court this week over his alleged involvement in a corrupt oil deal when he was in office.

Again this week, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan sacked four ministers, the most high-profile being Aviation minister Stella Oduah. She had been embroiled in allegations of corruption after her ministry spent $1,5 million on two bulletproof luxury cars. But Jonathan still took drastic action despite Oduah being his close ally.
He is trying to reset the Nigerian psyche where corruption had become the norm. That would be a big ask in Zimbabwe, wouldn’t it?

But what happens when a nation doesn’t learn from its past mistakes? Corruption becomes rampant. You get corrupt leaders and their merry bands of cronies and hangers-on – nothing but thieves through and through, common criminals.

The entire system becomes compromised – such as in Zimbabwe where this has been the case for decades with condonation and denial the name of the game. The system has created State-protected monopolies and the consequence has been massive inefficiencies and grand corruption. Not to mention a whole industry of political party-run – instead of government-run — farming and other input schemes which have become a corrupt network of cronyism and patronage feeding from the taxpayer year in, year out.

Those at the right place at the right time – that is, chancers and opportunists — cannot help, but dip into these schemes and rackets they create from these.

It’s too tempting because it’s so easy to get away with it. If there are no strict checks and controls, people will naturally exploit the loopholes. That is why some yobos are currently going around schools in Mashonaland East demanding $2 each from teachers purportedly for funding President Robert Mugabe’s birthday bash, extorting money by threat of violence. Since when have donations been compulsory? The day of reckoning will surely come.

When then Chronicle editor Geoff Nyarota broke the Willowgate Scandal involving the corrupt resale of vehicles at highly-inflated prices by Cabinet ministers during a time of shortage in 1988, he was labelled “overzealous” by you-know-who. Twenty-six years later, corruption has not disappeared; it has grown to shocking proportions.

But scapegoating of the media from high offices continues. Last week, Vice-President Joice Mujuru attacked the media for merely doing its duty as a watchdog by naming and shaming corrupt politicians and company executives, notwithstanding her lame denial of this a few days later.

She said the media must stop reporting on corruption because it’s being used by people who are after destroying the ruling Zanu PF party from within.

Well, this should be our least worry because it doesn’t alter the fact that rampant corruption is bleeding the nation.

If they fight among themselves, so be it. If the party implodes in the process, it’s their business, not ours. If factionalism smokes out the corrupt, this will have an unintended, but positive consequence on the nation.

What should concern us is the bigger picture of corruption – not the real or imagined threat to the existence of a political party. This a serious and urgent matter.

Many crimes have been discovered because of a fallout among accomplices. To further illustrate this, some years ago a battered, bruised, sobbing woman walked straight into the police station and told the officers on duty that her husband had a whole sack of mbanje (marijuana) in the wardrobe. The man was jailed despite the regretful wife’s pleas later to have the charges dropped because she and her children would lose a breadwinner. It was now the State versus her husband.

In the 1980s, a vengeful, ditched mistress walked straight into the police station and poured out to officers that she and her married lover, who was a sectional manager at the largest insurance firm in this country, had jointly committed insurance fraud by taking out a life policy in her husband’s name without his knowledge and then forging his death certificate while he was still alive, following which they got a lump sum payout of $58 000.

The man was jailed for 12 years and the woman, to her shock, got 8 years. The matter was now in State hands. That was the unintended consequences of bringing attention upon herself.

So, when top politicians and company executives live corruptly and ostentatiously, acquiring big, fancy houses, collecting wives and “small houses” (mistresses) as trophies – in fact, the whole bang shoot of greed and decadence – they mustn’t blame the media for bringing negative attention upon them. They will have made themselves political flashpoints.

Forward with factionalism!

ctutani@newsday.co.zw

21 COMMENTS

  1. pple may not be arrested but naming and shaming goes a long way in reducing/eliminting corruption/graft. After Willowgate the abuse of new vehicle sales was completely eredicated albeit corruption/graft reappearing in different format. Luxon Zembe has suffered from his role in salarygate and his brand destroyed and more are likely to suffer similar consequences

  2. wava muchohwe here?
    unity unity akomana is honestly the best policy in addressing gross maladministration that has net effect of skyrocketing baloon for corruption that noone can see up there on cloud nine after blending with the grey area !!

    • @Muchohwe You really must be some genius with all these clever riddles..must make you feel really clever, no? Instead of just saying things in straight and unambigous way like everyone, no, you must spin yarns that make you appear genius and in the process end up wrapping self in dross..is the idea to keep self warm and relevant? Do try and keep it straight and simple if you can!

  3. We are likely going to see a friendly commission of enquiry where most of theses cronies will be declared clean serve for one unfortunate.

    • @Jori- the Commission of inquiry has already pronounced its verdict..all those being incriminated are victims of our detractors who would like to see ZANU and its ZIMSTAT or some such animal fail..So we can merrily go back to the way we were! The VP made it clear this is not a subject for newspaper and common riff raff in the streets!

  4. God is watching. VP Mujuru is a disgrace to this nation riddled with a grasping mentality throughout administrative levels in both public and private businesses. The President seems to be paying lip service to avarice. what the hell does he think his Ministers are going to do eradicate graft which has taken root under their watch and mostly like with them being complicity. We are living in a country worse than hell. The misrule has caused untold suffering on us. Why has heaven singled us for contemptible leaving. I wish I had not been born into this shameful country. Mugabe wake up and rule this country properly. This graft is insufferable. Where is your heart? You are living well and enjoying political support of the powerful corrupt.

  5. @godho. lip service is what we are going to get in these matters. in 2 weeks time all the zimbabweans will be back to their sleep and any article in the paper on corruptions will not sell. zanu pf is buying time and they know people will be sleeping again soon and thieving has to continue thereafter.

  6. Well said Mukoma, vakazviparira wega saka majournalist ava kungo zvibuditsa pachena chete. Amai Solo wavakutya kuputika kweZanu nhasi koo pavaimbozviita, muchidya huchi nemukaka vamwe vachitambura, mabasa ari kupera, vana havasi kuenda kuzvikoro, zvipatara zvafa etc.

    Regai chibvondoke, mwari haasi wemunhu one. No more lip service

  7. Being Vice-President is a position far far far way beyond a rural primary school dropout like Joyce Mujuru. This is a woman who first used electricity and drank water from a tap in 1980 when she first came to the then Salisbury. This was a juvenile delinquent who had had enough of school in rural Mt Darwin, thought going to Mozambique was only a game and serendipitously found herself being offered a ministerial position by virtue of being Solomon Mujuru’s wife. It’s fair to say when she went to Mozambique she had no clue what it was all about. All that is happening now is beyond her widest dreams. She does not comprehend what corruption is. She was just thrust into a position she was clearly not suited for – way beyond her station in life which should have been a mere rural housewife. Here is one square peg in a round hole. Not in the position because of any known talent but as a reward for being Solomon Mujuru’s wife. She is not presidential material by any stretch of imagination. She probably thinks if you are leader you own everything and can do as you please.

    • I am afraid that is the unpalatable home truth. She is not suited for high government office. She has no talent. The person at the top should be cleverer than most. She only first saw the bright lights in 1980. It was a culture shock for her in 1980 – it still is now.

  8. iwe bird of prey shamwari haunzwi mhani aa.
    chimboteereravo vamwe vako makuunguwo ari kungoti NO NO NO as their birdlife intellect limits them to.
    uropi hweshiri hunonzi EQ kutaura kuti pane musiyano mupfungwa dzako nedzangu waona.
    but thanks anyway for showing persistent signs at becoming a source of good sense for humour as is this spirit of muchohwe, the psychoanalyst !!

  9. The problem is, they have looted for too long, they now regard it as their right. If u confront them by any means they can kill you. They also argue that because they “died” for this country, they alone know how to run it.

    I am surprised at others who still have any hope in the current president. Calling upon him to do what! Get serious guys. The country is basically on autopilot, looting is all they can do, ALL OF THEM, I MEAN ALL.

  10. Joyce Mujuru left for Mozambique in her teens from rural Mt Darwin when she had no clue as to what exactly was going on on the political front other than hearing rural home fireside fairy tales dze zvidhoma (goblins). She had never been to Salisbury until 1980. All she knew was rural Mt Darwin where she rarely came in contact with the odd white farmer. How can such a person talk of “liberation” when she had no clue what was going on? Not many people had radios in the rural areas. To Joyce Mujuru this was just a game. To be able to understand what “liberation” is one has to know what it is that they are being “liberated” from. Unless you have this knowledge it is impossible to say what you are being “liberated” from. The same goes for Constatine Chiwenga, Douglas Nyikayaramba and others who strayed into Mozambique from their rural homes in their early teens with no knowledge of any politics.
    Only people who experienced life as working adults in (Y) Rhodesia before moving to (X) Zimbabwe are able to say authoritatively that (X) is better or worse now than (Y) was. You cannot say (X) is better now or worse now than (Y) when you don’t have a clue what (Y) was because you were never there.
    This is absolutely vital for the country to move forward. We expect our political leaders to equal or better what we had before 1980. I have no hesitation in saying right now the present leaders are worse than what we experienced before 1980. I know because I moved from (Y) to (X) as a working adult.

    • I could not have put it in better words than you have done. The logic and reason now appears as elementary as the sun rising from the east tomorrow morning,

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