WHEN the very institutions that our hallowed Constitution mandates with fighting corruption become the citadel of the social fabric-gnawing ill, then we should hold our collective heads in shame.
Aptly named the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) is one of Zimbabwe’s chapter 12 institutions that are supposed to provide the radar by which our society must function.
Corruption is an ill that has thrown our common humanity in question. Now reports abound of the ruling class and their cronies using this supposedly important institution to push their nefarious activities or agendas.
Citizens have rightly questioned the inspiration behind President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s creation of a stand-alone anti-graft unit to fight the scourge, with personnel from that unit reporting direct to his office.
We have no doubt that the failure by Prosecutor-General Ray Goba’s office to successfully pursue just one graft case to conclusion and Zacc’s lukewarm approach to corruption have left the majority Zimbabweans with no choice, but to agree with the President.
Sadly, Mnangagwa has anchored his administration and campaign for this month-end election on fighting corruption, yet seven months after taking charge of the levers of power, there seems to be nothing solid to prove his commitment to his anti-corruption crusade.
His threats to jail corrupt officials ring hollow. However, the decision to create a unit specifically to prosecute corruption cases could be the humdinger that Zimbabwe needs. We stress, however, that the country does not want to create another strongman like ex-leader Robert Mugabe who abused State institutions for self-serving interests – it is time to strengthen these institutions for them to perform better.
We wonder what Mnangagwa is waiting for to take transgressors to jail over graft. But the cases must be proved beyond any reasonable doubt that they committed graft, and not persecute political foes under the guise of fighting corruption.
We believe that Zacc needs a reconfiguration. Zacc needs the teeth to fight corruption, and Mnangagwa must not protect his cronies in the ruling class. Let those found on the wrong side face the music in fighting this scourge that is tearing apart the soul of our nation and inhibiting development.
It is also important that in their reconstruction and restructuring of Zacc, no one must get away from the dragnet.
Zimbabweans want to see their institutions working for them and if anybody or group of individuals have hijacked such key structures of our State, they must be confronted with the unpleasant consequences of their actions.
Mnangagwa needs to begin to walk his talk and stop the idea that he will do something after the elections. He has Executive authority already, so why wait until after July 30. What if the unexpected happens? The President can as well give us a harbinger of what to expect in his fight against endemic corruption. Otherwise why must the electorate give him a full five-year term when he cannot use half a year?
Mnangagwa should immediately act on the reports on his desk and show citizens what he can do!