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Letters: Looting has reached new levels

Letters to the Editor

AL Jazeera is not exposing anything new, it is clarifying the obvious corrupt system that has always existed in Zimbabwe even during the days of Cecil John Rhodes, the biggest criminal who even went on to name our country in his name after taking control of our land and our minerals.

The difference is, it is now the new ruling black elite looting at a scale never seen before.

The truth is, there is a deep connection between the ruling elite and Zimbabwe’s corruption in general. Both the ruling and opposition parties have become riddled with corruption and lawlessness, and have made politics their way to extreme fortune and unbridled power. In Zimbabwe, for one to be successful today, he/she should curry favour with the ruling elite, where high-level connections and high-level political appointments inevitably lead to access to wealth through criminal and kleptocratic networks. This has been clearly exposed by the Al Jazeera documentary.

After the military coup and the coming in of the second republic in 2017, followed by the election in July 2018, Zimbabweans were hoping for the change of attitude and an end to the corrupt rule of Robert Mugabe and his kleptocratic networks.

Before the 2017 coup, the ruling elite was gradually consolidating its power in Zimbabwe, and the ruling Zanu PF became a key element of the new system.

It was effectively using its monopoly in State media, administrative resources, and access to financial support from oligarchs.

The ruling elite gradually gained control over the entire legislative branch and all levels of government.

Many top government ministers, officials and party representatives have been involved in widely-publicised criminal cases.

With ever-increasing frequency, members of political parties, be they ministers, mayors and councillors representing the ruling elite have either been charged or imprisoned for corruption, abuse of office and bribery.

After Zimbabweans voted against a government-supported Constitution, the farm invasions and lawlessness at the turn of the 21st century, organised criminal groups began penetrating government structures through both Zanu PF and MDCs.

Known accused, arrested and convicted thieves and thugs of the 1990s and those who led the farm invasions and those who traded their leather jackets and gold chains for business suits and party membership cards soon took occupation of government offices.

Criminal elements essentially began using the structure of the country’s main political parties as a means of upward social mobility. It allowed them to be integrated into the national government system and to gain access to public resources.

This process led to a dramatic increase in corruption and to wide-scale theft of the nation’s wealth. Criminal structures were establishing strict control over entire sectors of the Zimbabwean economy.

Several regions were left completely at the mercy of organised criminal groups acting under the protection of the ruling party elite.

Zanu PF’s leadership has acknowledged that criminal activity among the party’s membership is epidemic and has gone further to introduce the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, showing lack of confidence in the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

The geography of crimes involving members of the ruling elite covers the entire country, as well as every level of government.

Anti-corruption and the law enforcement bodies have achieved some success, but are generally unable to curb the corruption that has pervaded the entire country and in some cases has even reached the international arena, with the latest being the current investigation of the former Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri.

Zimbabwe, as a country, is in the clutches of a venal system. In order for anyone to gain access to the feeding trough, one must simply share their profits with those who offer protection from above, meaning the corporate executives are now active participants.

As a result, since the second republic’s rise to power, the party has established itself as the only route to upward mobility for criminal elements.

These criminals have adapted, and have managed to successfully integrate themselves into national structures and government bodies by using the party structures.

In supporting the political elite, Zimbabweans are contributing to a corrupt system that poses a danger to the State itself. For decades, those in positions of responsibility have enjoyed a high degree of impunity.

The nation in general knows the state of corruption and there is now a citizens’ counter-attack behind the unveiling of the major corruption cases in Zimbabwe that has caught them off-guard. - Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi

Mr President, please restrain reckless, insulting Passion Java

DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa,

In case you have not yet seen the video of your beloved Passion Java bragging about his riches and golden jewellery.

In the video, the lad goes about scorning the poorer Zimbabweans who cannot match his luxurious lifestyle.

The so-called man-of-God is a national insult who claims he has your blessings, and proof of this claim that he has your blessings are the many photographs and videos you have taken with him at State House.

Passion Java repeats in the video words you have said before while you were Vice-President that Zanu PF controls everything: the army, the police, the courts, and the prisons among other things, so the opposition should never dream of getting into power.

Mr President, you should take appropriate measures against such utterances, and put in place mechanisms to ensure a free and fair election.

If Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala has been arrested for allegedly inciting public violence, Passion Java has committed a serious crime in saying that the army, the police, the prisons, and the courts will collude to subvert the will of the people. This is a serious crime and tarnishes the image of the country.

Sadc is watching, Africa is watching, and the world is watching.

You have simply failed, and people are angry with the corruption you purport to be fighting, yet your officials in Zanu PF are very quick to attack musicians who sing about corruption, and Winky D’s song Ibotso is a case in point.

Your officials are very quick to discredit the Al Jazeera documentary which exposes corruption, looting of gold, instead of gathering the facts and establishing the truth.

To the suffering people of Zimbabwe, I call upon you all irrespective of the party you belong to to acknowledge the fact that our suffering has been caused by a leadership that does not tolerate efforts to curb corruption when they claim to be fighting corruption. Let us go out in our millions and vote Zanu PF out. - Kennedy Kaitano

Govt, SDCs no longer representing the interests of parents

THERE is and there has been confusion in the Primary and Secondary Education ministry on both sides of the spectrum; meaning on the part of the ministry as well as on the side of the parents as represented by School Development Committees (SDCs).

Let me clarify. A church organisation establishes a school from its own resources, in particular through donations sourced from external partners. Now there is a school standing ready to be opened for enrolment. Parents enrol their children.

Time passes and additional development projects become not only necessary, but imperative: The parents are then asked to fund these projects from their own pockets. I am not quarrelling. I am observing and asking for clarity from government, the lawmaker.

As time passes into years and years into centuries, the parents will have contributed to the existence and operations, and maintenance of the school a trillion-fold more than the responsible authority. Does it not follow?

Now, the question is: Who now owns the school as an entity? Is it the responsible authority or parents as a community? Is my question not pertinent and logical?

Only those with partial minds will perceive my question to the contrary. The issue of the payment of school fees is another one deserving clarification from the ministry.

According to section 27 of the Constitution, education is free from primary to tertiary levels. I find myself being nettled and persistently nagged by the question: How do I reconcile the foregoing two scenarios which for all intents and purposes stand glaringly contradictory to one another.

God is not happy when those in authority subject the human mind to such interminable mental and emotional confusion. Parents are perpetually confused as conflicts at SDC meetings are the norm rather than the exception.

If I had my way, I would expect the responsible authority and their SDCs to engage with or petition government concerning the anomalies and contradictions in the whole education system, instead of pouncing on the now hapless parents.

It’s morally wrong and a gross violation of the Constitution to send learners back home for non-payment of fees in defiance of the supreme law of the country.

We are now in a modern era and this practice is centuries behind. School authorities (responsible authorities and their SDCs) are rank cowards.

They are scared to approach government on the issue and government, I mean the line ministry, rubs its hands together gleefully.

Look, please, I am not for one moment implying that parents must not pay. We are paying because we love our children, our future generations. I am asking for fair play on the ground. Parents, by extension the communities, must not be treated as idiots or imbeciles or unthinking objects.

Government is the main culprit here, especially Taungana Ndoro, the chief propagandist extraordinaire.

The intermediary between government on the one hand and responsible authority and SDCs on the other requires mature, ethical and professional minds. - Martin Stobart

IN response to Al Jazeera exposé torches storm, MOYO OSAMA says: After what we saw and what shall be seen in the coming episodes, there is absolutely no reason for any sane person to vote Zanu PF.

MORGEN TSHUMA says: It’s a pity, especially for those soldiers who were deployed on the streets of Harare in order to carry out that soft coup, and for ordinary citizens who were hoping that the removal of the late former President Robert Mugabe would bring change. It’s now even worse.

IN response to Zanu PF bussing voters into Byo CBD: CCC, JABILE NGWENYA says: Identify them and send the evidence to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Then follow up and make sure they don’t vote in those constituencies. It’s strange if not outright impossible to bring a busload of people from Gokwe to Cowdray Park and have them registered as voters in that constituency. Sometimes you need to tailor your propaganda to realities.

CHIMZ CHIMTMZ says: We will have fake ballots in the rural areas, ones that would have already been filled in as if it’s the same people that would have voted in their home areas. On the eve of voting, there should be vigilante groups like the ones Harare East MP Tendai Biti came up with in the 2018 elections that should fish them out.

NAHUM JEHU says: By so doing, they are paving way for the opposition in the constituency they are emptying.

TENDAI IRVINE JANGA says: A lot of questions will be raised if they win those two new constituencies.

IN response to ‘We’re fed up with water crisis’, TAWANDA NYAMANDE says: The problem starts and ends with Zesa, the power outages are affecting the pumping stations.

GIFT ASANDE says: You vote for them, then they pay with regalia, while they carry bags of gold to sell outside the country and enjoy the revenue with their children.

DUMISANI CHISEVE says: People must know where to cast their votes. They have seen the kind of party Zanu PF is. They must not vote for looters, but for a party that will put them first as citizens.

MTSHUMAYELI HLOMA says: We are really fed up. There are poor roads, litter everywhere, tall grass, non-functional street lights, you name it.

IN response to Judge Ndewere wins back Merc, JABULANI NYONI says: Former judge Erica Ndewere must never use that car. It’s a death trap.

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