Zimbabwe: Mugabe’s end to corruption not feasible
For the umpteenth time, President Robert Mugabe, speaking at the 13th Zanu (PF) Annual People’s Conference in Gweru this month, castigated his cabal of ministers for deep-seated corruption.
Mugabe said corruption and violence were dragging the name of the party into the mud and threatened to fire ministers engaging in corrupt activities.
That was after he reportedly received a complaint from former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, who told him that unnamed ministers had demanded bribes of up to $10 million from ANC-linked companies that wanted to engage in mining in Zimbabwe.
“Mugabe’s calls for an end to corruption are commendable but not feasible. For Zanu (PF) to survive, they need corruption and violence.
“Mugabe is crying for the moon by asking his ministers to stop corruption and violence. Most ministers in Zanu (PF) need to engage in corruption to get money and other benefits to pass on to their patrons. It will not be possible for him (Mugabe) to stop them,” said political analyst, John Makumbe.
Mbeki told Mugabe that those who were demanding bribes from South African companies claimed they would pass part of the money to him (Mugabe), triggering his call for people in Zanu (PF) to stop lying in his name.
The Chairperson of the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption, Willias Madzimure, said there was nothing sincere about Mugabe’s calls as corruption had been part and parcel of Zanu (PF) since the formation of the party.
“When people get closer to elections, they panic a lot and talk of things as if they are a new phenomenon. Corruption has been happening in Zanu (PF) all along and it’s obvious Mugabe knew about this,” said Madzimure.
There had been overwhelming evidence of corruption by Zanu (PF) ministers for many years, yet Mugabe had never taken corrective action, he said.
“Look at what came out during Chombo’s divorce case. The vast wealth mentioned in the case indicated a need for investigations. Also, Obert Mpofu’s vast wealth should have triggered an interest. But nothing has been done,” said Madzimure.
The National Coordinator for the Coalition Against Corruption, Regis Chingawo, said what was needed was action more than statements to stop corruption.
CAC is a civic organization established this year to fight all forms of corruption.
“The President’s call is commendable but we urge him to move with speed to bring those who have been implicated in corruption to book. Those implicated in corruption should face arrest and resign from their duties,” said Chingawo.
Political analyst, Gabriel Chaibva said Mugabe’s castigation of corruption was typical of him. “The President has been consistent in his castigation of all social evils. He has condemned a wide range of evils,” said Chaibva.
Asked whether Zanu (PF) Ministers would heed Mugabe’s calls to desist from corruption, he said: “You need people who can stand up and say this person is corrupt. We need evidence first, not baseless allegations,” in apparent reference to Mugabe’s claim regarding the ministers.
Analysts have questioned the effectiveness of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission which has, since its formation in September 2005, failed to rein in high profile cases of corruption.