THE comptroller and auditor-general’s report exposing colossal corruption and abuse of authority by government ministers and other top public officials leading to government losing millions of dollars last year could not have come at the right time given the damages the scourge has caused in the economy.
It is unbelievable how Cabinet ministers and those linked to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) have deviated from laid down procurement regulations, lack of corporate governance and financial indiscipline in government departments, State-owned enterprises and parastatals to enrich themselves.
As if racing against time to enrich themselves at the expense of the majority poor Zimbabweans, public officials’ shenanigans have resulted in government losing millions of dollars in the last year.
President Robert Mugabe early this year also stated that Zimbabwe had lost in excess of $15 billion from diamonds revenue through unscrupulous means by several diamond companies and influential individuals.
Yet, Mugabe has still not ordered arrests of the suspected culprits. This is no wonder why Information, Communication and Technology, Postal and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira, according to the auditor general’s office reportedly forced a parastatal under his ministry to advance him a $200 000 loan to purchase a flashy vehicle at a time government is failing to pay civil servants.
We believe the rampant corruption in government requires strict measures to curb further financial leakages if Zimbabwe is to revive the comatose economy.
How does government expect the international community to bail Zimbabwe when there is no financial discipline by the authorities? Mugabe should show seriousness by stopping the rot in government and the country in general. Auditor-General Mildred Chiri bemoaned the fact that government departments incurred almost $22 million expenses which were not supported by source documents, and making it difficult to ascertain whether the expenditure was properly incurred to constitute a proper charge on public funds.
What is worse is how on earth top officials could use government funds as collateral security for personal loans at the same time exposing government to losses of huge amounts.
All that is happening in how government departments are functioning leaves a lot to be desired. It speaks to poor oversight role by the OPC.
It is about time Mugabe wakes up from his deep slumber to save the country from this corruption scourge.
The biggest challenge is that this scourge has now permeated from top to bottom, and it’s as if corruption is now acceptable as part of the business norms where even the OPC is involved in pet corruption at the least.
Does Mugabe realise the damage all these corruption reports have done to his person and government?
We applaud Chiri for exposing corruption in high offices, and urge the President to stop the shenanigans by his office and government ministers.
It is time Zimbabwe is taken back to its founding ideals and not the “Me First attitude” exhibited by government ministers and top public officials in this country.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission must be given teeth to stop all this rot.