THE government has found the latest red herring for their mismanagement of the economy, blaming externalisation for the cash shortages, a flashback to the days of Gideon Gono’s tenure as head of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Externalisation of funds has contributed to the current economic mess, but the number one ill is corruption coupled with the authorities’ failure to deal with it.
The externalisation of cash is only a symptom of a bigger problem; corruption and mismanagement of the economy, which if not addressed, will see the economy tanking and the country going broke.
If authorities were sincere about dealing with externalisation they would do so, but nepotism, corruption and patronage hinder any form of action and the vice shall continue.
It is worrying that nothing has happened to most officials implicated in the infamous “Salarygate” scandal of a couple of years ago, yet the details were in the public domain.
Health minister David Parirenyatwa seems to have got away with his capitation story, where Premier Medical Aid Society paid him in advance yet its own doctors went unpaid, without even as little as a public rebuke from his boss President Robert Mugabe.
Just recently, permanent secretary in the Energy ministry Patson Mbiriri said there was no going back on tenders for the development of power plants despite reservations over the way tenders were issued.
There have been questions on the award of a tender to Intratek, for example, with revelations that the company could be nothing but a middleman, receiving tenders despite it pitching the highest bid and the charges have been rising ever since.
The company’s boss is also said to have been involved in shady deals in the past and he was once wanted in Zambia over questionable dealings, yet Mbiriri claims the tenders are beyond reproach.
To add to the mess, Intratek’s local representative, Wicknell Chivayo is always posting large sums of money on his social media accounts, which he spends outside the country, but we are not holding our breaths that he or his company will ever be investigated.
Mbiriri’s attitude betrays government’s lackadaisical approach towards corruption, instead of saying the deals were beyond reproach in spite of the accusations, the government should be willing to investigate rather than declare the chapter closed.
Mugabe should also take leadership and act on corruption, because if he does not crack the whip, then complaining about externalisation is akin to chasing our own shadows and will not help the country or economy in any way.
However, as it is these are still questions about the missing $15 billion diamond revenue, questions which may never be answered.
Zimbabwe is not doing itself any favours by turning a blind eye to corruption and the government must act now instead of looking for the latest excuse for their failure to deal with graft and mismanaging the economy.