NewsDay Editorial: Corruption fight futile without political will


The fight against corruption is a tricky one especially when such corruption has become embedded in government. Embedded corruption works like a web; in involves intricate linkages straddling whole organisations.

NewsDay Editorial

If it hits a ministry, it means everyone from the office sweeper to the minister becomes part of the web. It also links ministries, the corporate world and shadowy syndicates that act as middlemen.

Many countries fighting corruption have established anti-corruption commissions and tasked them to investigate graft. But the results have not been forthcoming.

Often members of the anti-corruption commission end up in the dock, tables having been turned against them by the targets of their probes. This has happened in Zimbabwe.

Research elsewhere has shown that anti-corruption commissions do not work because they are not properly empowered to handle the kind of investigations they have to deal with. It has been shown in some countries such as Kenya that the greatest impediment to investigating corruption is the absence of political will.

Political will can only be guaranteed if those in the corridors of power are themselves not involved. Often they are fully involved having been co-opted either voluntarily or through blackmail.

To fight corruption, one has to identify the weakest link in the web and, if that is destroyed, the whole edifice collapses. Investigations should begin by establishing the existence of the syndicate and how it works.

The weakest link is not necessarily the office sweeper, who is often an innocent-looking reprobate sent on errands to deliver or receive the bribes. It needs painstaking investigation to establish exactly how the web works; and the best people to do this are the police. They too can only be effective when the country’s Executive gives them the nod.

The CMED (Pvt) Ltd saga comes in as a test case. Everything seems clear enough. CMED gave a company, First Oil, $3 million to procure fuel for the country. The fuel was never delivered!

Everyone has known this for a long time. Investigations were launched and someone somewhere knows what exactly happened to the money and what syndicate pocketed it.

The infighting that has been taking place in the CMED offices means someone in there is in the know and is trying to cover up. It is obvious there is some kind of protection for the culprits at CMED. But, that makes any investigator’s job simpler; the weakest link is in the CMED offices.

The onus is now on the Executive to show their will to fight the corruption at CMED by sending in the Zimbabwe Republic Police. Our police are known to be very efficient investigating such crimes; it only needs the go-ahead from the Executive.

It is, however, clear the Executive won’t move anytime soon for the CMED saga has been in the public domain for a while without it batting an eyelid.

Therein lies the problem. All the cases of corruption exposed in recent months will go uninvestigated and the culprits will emerge, as has happened in the past, better off than those who have dared expose them.


  1. Trustiworthiness, integrity, honesty, accountability, faithfullness, vision, love for zimbabwe and its pple,….comtment, care and accurate communication are jst not there. The leaders, the police and the juduciary are tied in their past and greed and these values may not mean a thing for many generations to come in zimbabwe as this cancer is embedded in our community. For the love of zimbabwe, lets pray for simbabwe that we may regain ourselves (if ever we had these values before independence)…otherwise, God bless zimbabwe

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  2. Corruption yakaunzwa nekuoma kwe economy. Kuoma kwe economy kwakaunzwa ne MDC ichida kutora nyika. I’ve been a zanu pf supporter since but what I can tell you is that neither zanu nor mdc might end corruption in zim at the moment but the whites

    • I don’t understand the logic” Kuoma kwe economy kwakaunzwa ne MDC”, has MDC been involved in any economic formulation since 1980!

      It is not true that only Whites can end corruption in Zimbabwe, we just need Gushungo to crack the whip. Can you explain as a ZANU-PF supporter why the following scandals were allowed to die a natural death:

      War Victims
      VIP Housing scandals
      Agricultural Mechanisation
      Multiple far ownership

      Can you explain why ZANU-PF is not doing anything about SALARYGATE. Yes those CHEFS are still earning those MEGA SALARIES!!

  3. Corruption inopera chete kana tikadzinga mapurisa ese, maTeacher ese, VID yese, RG officers ese, Kanzuru yese, then totsvaka vatsva vasingazivi huori.

  4. When corruption such as the one at CMED involves the ‘big fish’ as is the probable case here, instructions come from the ‘top’ to stop any investigations from taking place. How many times have we heard police officers saying they can not investigate such and such a case because “important” or powerful people are involved. People like Kasukuwere and Obert Mpofu belong behind bars. Land barons should be jailed along with Chombo who also owns house and commercial stands in every town and city in the country.

  5. Corruption has run amok in Zimbabwe due to the culture of impunity and selective application of the law. Known criminals have never been subjected to the due process of law and other potential criminals realized that they could engage in corruption without any consequence if they bribed influential people or engaged in mentioning names of powerful politicians.

  6. Thank yu guys for being objective in this commentary…i think we are having a problem with the untouchables of our leadership and i agree that it is embedded in the leadership and they can just solve the corription issues coz it nails them to the albtross cross. I dont agree o the fact that MDC causd corruption and that whites can end corruption. His excellency needs to come out and crack whip and put zimbabwe first as he always says he does, it is the love of zimbabwe that sees him president at 90 yrs yet, the love canot be genuine if he cant whip his generals into men of integrity. Pamberi ne Zimbabwe, pasi nekuchengetedza mbavha nehonzeri dzehuwori! God bless zimbabwe

  7. Very nicely put but totally irrelevant. Corruption in Zim is done mafia style. Does anyone honestly believe the CEO of CMED is clean in this $3mil deal? Come on guys, let’s move and stop moaning. As ling as these madharas are in power, nothing will change. We have become a society of whiners!

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