ZIMBABWE Revenue Authority (Zimra) board chairperson Willia Bonyongwe’s admission that corruption within and outside the organisation is resembling an organised crime syndicate as it has now become cancerous, destroying the fabric of society, is quite telling.
The cancer cells have often moved to a new location where they continue to grow, and the same is true in Zimbabwean politics. The metaphor of cancer as corruption is now being used by everyone from leaders of political parties to journalists to describe corruption in the body politic.
No doubt it requires a radical surgery that excises the malignant growth to the country’s body politic.
We believe the raising of the alarm bells on endemic graft could not have come at any better time given President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his inauguration on November 24, 2017 “promised” to deal a body blow to corruption.
Regrettably, this is yet to happen, and Zimbabweans are still waiting for this special day that the President will eventually work towards eradicating corruption at high level places in government
It is unfortunate that Bonyongwe has shown that she is powerless to deal with corruption. And, can the power of “healthy cells” be mobilised to prevent the suicide mission – the harakiri of corruption cancer cells in this country?
It boggles the mind how government has allowed corruption to be the order of the day scamming citizens and the State of the much-needed revenue inflows. The only logical explanation is only when top government officials are involved in the network. If they are not, will they allow Zimra corruption to go unnoticed?
What is even disturbing are reports that corruption in Zimra circles last year alone cost Zimbabwe some $3,5 billion and the bulk of it was perpetrated by top politicians-cum-businesspeople and their surrogates — some government ministers, top civil servants and notable businesspeople connected to the ruling elite, among others.
According to Bonyongwe, only a clean sweep can rid Zimbabwe of corruption at high places in our society.
Bonyongwe, however, needs to be reminded Zimra needs to follow its standard operating procedures first before crying wolf. The fact that Zimra was holding its first annual general meeting in decades shows that good governance is not party of all State enterprises. Former President Robert Mugabe’s regime allowed that to happen in order to create a war chest for free funds for himself and his cronies including some still within this government.
We believe this must never be allowed to continue. Mnangagwa set the ball rolling. It is our hope that when he made fighting corruption his priority, he was not just threatening so those corrupt individuals could also pay “corrupt tithes” to his close associates to buy their freedom as well.
That would be disastrous for the future of this country. Zimra must be reminded that when government says Zimbabwe we is open to business, this should mean that corruption is not tolerated.
How can investors bring their money in an environment where they are expected to grease palms in order to get things moving?
This is disastrous, and unless and until Bonyongwe and her team realise the importance of Zimra in the economy of this country, the economy will continue to bleed. We hope the new Zimra commissioner-general Faith Mazani will be different in her approach to all this chaos at the organisation; otherwise it will be more of the same— no change but more corruption.
Otherwise, Zimbabwe is not for sale, citizens also need to create wealth for the future generation!