ZIMBABWEANS, who were very hopeful for progress after President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for zero tolerance to corruption in his maiden speech, have reason to now feel despondent.
Talk is cheap, so they say, but the situation in the country and in particular events surrounding the fight against systemic corruption and saving the economy from the rot leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
Mnangagwa, indeed, might be sincere, but there are clear suggestions the law is being applied selectively.
We must state here and now that, the fight against corruption should solicit the collective support of all Zimbabweans and the integrity of all investigations, arrests as well as prosecutions are at stake here.
Last week, a Harare court heard that some funds which were embezzled from Zimbabwe Power Company by convicted fraudster Wicknell Chivayo were actually funnelled out of the country through former Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa’s daughter, Kangai.
It would be naïve for anyone to think Chinamasa’s daughter was the beneficiary in this case. Nobody has raised alarm and need we ask has anyone at the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission raised an eyelid over the matter. Chinamasa continues to strut his stuff at Zanu PF headquarters where he is essentially a “minister” of sorts.
There are several allegations of corruption raised against another Zanu PF stalwart, secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, but no investigation has been conducted.
Should we, therefore, believe that they will be investigated at some point or the small fish will continue to be shepherded to the courts on half-baked charges and get bail before the case dies a natural death as the big fish continues to swim untouched.
Some have been arrested on the basis of so-called lifestyle audits, and we are certain quite a few in Zanu PF would never escape this dragnet were this to be applied equally.
There is only one reason for the slow conviction rates prosecuting authorities are getting. Either they have weak cases or our judiciary is now highly compromised.
Unless and until someone with real political clout, connected to the establishment is arrested and caged, there will continue to be public scepticism to Mnangagwa’s bid to cleanse the country of corruption.
Mnangagwa is wailing about the negative energy in the country, but it is the manner in which he is going about his business that needs a relook, in particular the fight against corruption, and something has to give in.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zaac) in particular is being run by people with dodgy pasts, people who information suggests are using their positions to extort money from corrupt individuals. Mnangagwa has to do something. Investigate Zacc for a start then we can begin to talk.