Hwange: a sore thumb on a decomposing body

THE depth of corruption is astonishing that even those that have ranked Zimbabwe highly, regionally and internationally, should be ashamed of themselves for doing a disservice to the people of this great nation.

Editorial Comment

We report elsewhere in this issue of “corruption” allegations levelled against Mines minister Winston Chitando at Hwange Colliery.

Hitherto, seen as one of a few untainted technocrats in government, Chitando’s alleged shenanigans make disturbing reading.

Indications that Chitando, viewed as “unsoiled” and coming from a key economic sector, has been involved in murky dealings at the State coalminer, must have left a sour taste in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mouth.

We believe this is just symptomatic of what we have become as a people: Rotten from head to toe! While Chitando must be given the benefit of doubt, the fact that he has, for weeks now, declined to comment on these accusations, which have since been brought before Parliament by a forensic auditor, raises many a question.

NewsDay, a few weeks ago, wrote to Chitando asking questions around his association with shadowy dealer Shepherd Tundiya, but the minister chose to remain mum despite initially having requested for questions in writing and promising to respond.

Now, would we be wrong to suspect that his prayer has been for this issue to die a natural death? Unfortunately for him, the chickens have now come home to roost. The genie is out of the bottle and now the question is: What is to be done?

The best Chitando can now do for the sake of our country is to resign before he does more damage to brand Zimbabwe, which is trying to find its rightful place among the family of nations.

The sprucing up of Zimbabwe’s image, battered by years of nepotism, corruption and greed under former President Robert Mugabe’s rule, does not need any further soiling from tainted individuals like Chitando.

Of course, the Mines minister must be given his day in court to answer to the allegations, but away from government.

How does Chitando stand before prospective investors at international fora to proclaim that Zimbabwe has turned the corner and was now vigorously fighting graft?

For Mnangagwa, it should be a very difficult time. He, surely, must be feeling hemmed, but he has to be decisive and let go of Chitando to send a clear message that despite 50 years of serving under Mugabe, he wants a clean administration.

Maybe, we are expecting too much from the man, but all hope is not lost. Maybe he will shame us all!

5 Comments

  1. Which bring into perceptive the adage that “Birds of the same plumage flock together.” ? For the President to disprove this, he must decisively act by asking Chitando to resign so that he clears his name.

    Cry our beloved country and looks like we are “open for corrupt deals!”

  2. This country is gone, inotongwa nembavha worse than Robert s era.

  3. Newsday rights a lot rubbish on Minister Chitando without even getting the details and facts right. We condemn such biased and toxic reporting. Journalism is a respected profession, do not just rush to print stories which you have not verified, get the details, get the facts, there are factional issues at play here in HCCL. The minister asked the board to go and they refused, they still want to cling to power as if they are the only people with solutions to get the company out of the problems. Interestingly some of them possess nothing interms of qualifications to warranty any appointment to any organisation operation at Magaba, they have nothing, completely nothing. Allow the minister to run the ministry, he is only new to ministry he cannot be responsible for the HCCL mess he actually working hard to clean the mess and bring the company to profitability. The HCCL potential is there and the brains are there of which the best brains were taken out by the board for no apparent reason. Let’s put our heads together and get HCCL working, we must not be divided at all, our vision must be one. Some of the people who are causing all these problems are fighting for their own cause, not even for the benefit of the majority. People are plotting at night in bars, giving each other positions hence smearing other people’s names in dirty all for the sake of themselves. How does a professional audit firm go before a parliamentary portfolio committee to present issues before they have even completed the audit. You don’t just pick an issue and without getting the responses or facts from the process owners, you rush to the press, you are merely seeking public sympathy. There are a lot of dirty deals done by such people causing havoc, fuel losses, abuse of offices, just to name but a few and such issues are not coming out, only focusing on the intelligent minister to tanish his image and good standing. Hwange will never return to profitability if the people from the region takes tribalism at the centre stage, allow the best brains to get things going, bring back the team that had made things start happening to get things moving. People were getting a double salary and because of this unnecessary havoc it vanished, people do not even know when are they getting paid, this is not good for all the Hwange families depending on their bread winners, we are going to have a doomed festive season because of people fronting their selfish interests. Let us be professional, if you have your race, pave way for others to bring new ideas, fresh minds, systems, etc, you cannot die in the office please. As a concerned Hwangerian I call upon everyone to shun tribalism, put our heads together and get the giant working. Yes it’s possible we have the equipment, we only need a bit of funding to refurbish the equipment and give it some new life, some of it has stayed over 20 years without being overhauled, there is no way you can get production form such a system. Most of the issues presented by Newsday are not true, they are hurried reports thrown into the public domain to tanish other people’s images, let’s be professional and lead from the front, play a part in the recovery of work which has got down stream effects to the other sectors if it comes back to profitability.

  4. Equally Concerned

    @THE GENERAL, I QUOTE YOUR COMMENT ABOVE: Allow the minister to run the ministry, he is only new to ministry he cannot be responsible for the HCCL mess he actually working hard to clean the mess and bring the company to profitability.

    As a concerned ‘Hwangerian’ are you aware that the minister was Chairman of the Hwange Board of Directors prior to his appointment to the ministry. The mess at Hwange was ongoing while he was board chairman and the company did not make a profit then, why did he not clean it then when he was claiming board allowances and related perks. Why try to clean the mess when the current board has initiated a forensic audit, what is he trying to cover up. Yes the article might be having some inaccuracies but ask yourself ‘Are the Hwange problems new’. From the time he was appointed to head the ministry the minister has been running all over the country and outside Zimbabwe while the workers at Hwange were trying to bring corruption issues to light, he never had time for the Hwange problems until now, ask yourself why.

  5. But guys, it is a fact that according to Newsday, they proffered questions to the Minister in writing and the Minister never bothered to respond. On the other hand it is alleged that the forensic auditor placed his report in the public domain without giving Hwange Management an opportunity to respond, by doing so, is he being objective and professional? To which professional body is he affiliated to, if ever he is?

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