So what — This is Zimbabwe!

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My friend Kumbirai Mafunda, a hardcore samanyika would say “hino” simply meaning so what?

Column by Rashweat Mukundu

This is the ultimate insult when what one expects and least of all, is an apology or an explanation on a given situation.

This insult seems to have been thrown at the citizens of Zimbabwe by its Zanu PF leadership in all these corruption scandals. Acting President Joice Mujuru says the media is working at destroying Zanu PF through these corruption stories.

Well, one wonders how? Is the Acting President really serious or she was misquoted by the media, that the corruption at Zesa, Zinwa, NRZ, ZBC, PSMAS, AirZim and all these other entities is simply aimed at destroying Zanu PF?

What simplicity, Acting President, and what a way to say, so what, to the majority of Zimbabweans struggling under the weight of this kind of mismanagement. If the role of the media is not to watch the centres of power and exposé malpractices what then is its role? Is the Acting President serious that the role of the media is to report her condescending speeches and glowing reports about how good Zanu PF is and sweep the dirt under the carpet. Is this the leadership we deserve surely?

Is Joice Mujuru not taking Zanu PF factionalism too far, by simply assuming that those in charge of the State media, who we hear are on opposite factions to hers are simply doing this as part of the ensuing succession battles? Even if this were so, are the reports of the looting not true?

The discord in Zanu PF could not even be more clearer as Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF spokesperson claimed on Studio 7 that it is Zanu PF that is on the anti-corruption crusade by exposing those within its midst who are looting left, right and centre.

Gumbo is simply happy that Zanu PF is part of the exposés, and not so much on the actions to correct these scandals, and he is thumping the so what statement into our faces.

The Sunday Mail reported that President Robert Mugabe is concerned about the shocking salaries that the collapsing parastatals executives are paying themselves. And what action does he take? He simply directed the line ministries to take action. In this regard Mugabe has directed the likes of Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo to clean the mess at Harare city’s Town House.

Well it is the same Chombo, who a few weeks ago reinstated the city’s town clerk, Tendai Mahachi. The town clerk had not been fired; his salary payments had not been suspended, he simply was asked to step aside to facilitate investigations.

The town clerk was going to come back to Town House a hero had his name been cleared, lo, and behold, came Chombo, who immediately and without a wink put the town clerk back in office. All the indiscretions by the city managers do not matter to Chombo.

He and President Robert Mugabe have just asked us the so what question. Coming back to Mugabe and we hope his annual leave has ended and he is back in office, more is needed from him.

The buck stops with him as the CEO of Zimbabwe incorporated, he cannot blame his managers and office cleaners for the collapse of Zimbabwe. President Mugabe ought to demonstrate leadership on this matter by taking strong and very public action.

It is no secret that parastatals, supported by the taxpayer and various loans mostly from China, are just feeding troughs for Zanu PF ministers, permanent secretaries and the connected in society. It is no secret that the millions in loans that are pumped by China into all these parastatals are looted and very little, if any, done to support the resuscitation and function of these entities.

It is the taxpayer again who has borne the burden of loan repayments, now and for generations to come; long enough after the looters are laid at heroes’ acre. And the evidence of the looting is there for all to see. The Hollywood lifestyles of the rich and famous in Zimbabwe. They eat, drink, drive, build, fly, marry and divorce at will.

The President has, in the past, claimed that no evidence has been brought to him about the looting, the principle however is that mere suspicion about misconduct of his juniors, more so Cabinet ministers is evidence enough for an investigation.

In normal countries, a mere proximity by senior officials to acts of indiscretion is ground for either dismissal or resignation. Not in Zimbabwe, citizens are being asked, So what?

The President is not being asked to go on a witch-hunt, but the many cases of looting of Harare city property, at ZBC, AirZim have evidence, paper trail, documents, minutes and registered complaints in place, nothing has been done. He is saying so what?

We hear that Zimra is investigating the tax evaders within these corporations, those who were paid millions in cash and paid no dime in taxes. I bet this is the first and last we have heard from Zimra, the tax-collector is equally saying so what? The police and the Prosecutor-General have found a convenient line.

Nothing will be done until the police investigate and provide dockets and the police cannot investigate their chefs for whom they provide security and protection daily. In any case, the police have their hands full with internal corruption cases, from traffic officers to seniors who have resigned.

The police and the Prosecutor-General are equally saying So what? At the end of it all citizens of Zimbabwe hear me, this is Africa and this is Zimbabwe, be contend with the “leaders” that we have, as all this howling about corruption is just a waste of time.

Go on your daily chores and knowing that nothing will change, cheer the leaders when you see them, most likely in 2018 when you are either being beaten-up for being an MDC sell-out or force-marched to a Zanu PF rally.

I join the dear leaders in asking, so what? Suit yourself.

Rashweat Mukundu is a Zimbabwean journalist. He can be reached on rmukundu77@gmail.com

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