HomeOpinion & AnalysisConference over: We demand action

Conference over: We demand action

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EVENTS at the Zanu PF annual jamboree in Victoria Falls drew most citizens’ attention this last weekend as the electorate waited, albeit with bated breath, for radar signals on how the ruling party plans to steer the ship of the current economic murky waters.

As has become the norm, most policy decisions governing State functions are enunciated at such party gatherings with Cabinet and Parliament always relegated to mere spectators.

Zanu PF is government and government is Zanu PF — goes the mantra.

But Victoria Falls, for all intents and purposes, will best be remembered for being just a talk shop where real issues such as the unresolved succession matrix were glossed over.

The conference also turned out to be another President Robert Mugabe blinder, following his endorsement to contest the 2018 elections at a ripe age of 94.

It will also be remembered as the conference where the party took considerable time discussing the elephant in the room — corruption.

The discussion may have been fuelled by the recent State visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Zimbabwe. Among the lessons from the Chinese leader was how they decisively deal with corruption at both party and government levels.

In the same vein, Zimbabwe, just before the Zanu PF conference, announced that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZAAC) was now under the President’s Office, having been moved from Home Affairs.

For the second time, the commission is back under Mugabe’s personal supervision.

The conference delegates made the right noises about corruption, blaming it for the deteriorating economy and pushing investors away.

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However, they did not take a hard look at how Zanu PF, since 1980, has kept a blind eye on corruption or on the few occasions when it attempted to act, the decision was more of lip service.

The electorate has not forgiven Mugabe’s indecisiveness on some of the major scandals that have rocked his government.

These include the Willowgate scandal, War Veterans’ Compensation Fund scam, senior civil servants housing scheme and the multi-million dollar Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Farm Mechanisation Project.

Some of Mugabe’s close relations or political friends have been implicated in some, if not all, of these scandals, thereby blunting his resolve to stamp out the cancerous behaviour.

Among those implicated are First Lady Grace Mugabe (senior civil servants housing scheme), the late Reward Marufu (Mugabe’s brother-in-law) (war veterans compensation scheme), Frederick Shava (Willowgate) and several of his current Cabinet ministers (Farm Mechanisation Project).

We challenge the President, that this time, his actions in dealing with corruption should speak louder than his Zanu PF conference rhetoric or the perfunctory addresses he has often made in Parliament.

Any failure to decisively deal with corruption after all this talk about how it has taken us 35 years back will only mean one thing — Mugabe condones corruption.

The idea behind accommodating ZACC in his office will only be viewed as meant to cover-up the President’s corrupt lieutenants’ footprints.

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