we applaud any effort to tackle corruption, it is unfortunate that the Mugabe regime sees fit to address only very low-level cases, while ignoring the wholesale looting taking place in the upper echelons of government and Zanu (PF).
It is disturbing that the due process of the law is permitted to take its course only when minor issues are at stake. This straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel is now endemic throughout Zanu (PF)’s rule.
For example, at Kondozi Farm mere workers were hauled before the courts for stealing a few harrows, while government ministers who stole tractors, motor cycles and trucks have not only not been arrested but have sold the equipment for a fortune and pocketed the money.
The question of multiple farm ownership is a scandal throughout the top echelons of government and the armed forces. Everybody knows about it. But it has never been dealt with seriously, despite Mugabe’s half-hearted protestations from time to time. And despite the leadership code which insists that no Zanu (PF) leaders should own more than 50 acres. This code never been amended – neither has it been enforced.
It was strange to see this code, after many years of being ignored, splashed in the state media last weekend. We wonder why? If they can’t even adhere to their own party’s rules, what hope is there for respect for law in the country?
The name Zanu (PF) is now synonymous with corruption. Everybody believes that every Zanu (PF) official is in it for the money.
The only senior people who are ever prosecuted are those who have fallen out of favour and are being punished for not showing sufficient loyalty to Mugabe, or those who have become embroiled in party infighting for coveted leadership positions. And, of course, those who are deemed to support the opposition.
This is selective application of the law. And Mugabe himself has fuelled this by interfering with the judicial process, ordering the police not to investigate certain people when it is known to everybody that they are corrupt.
For example, he ordered that investigations into corruption by senior police officers to be shelved on the advice of police commissioner Chihuri – who is himself tainted by corruption, yet keeps his job as head of the law enforcement agency.
If Mugabe is serious about tackling corruption, we are more than willing to assist him with a list of corrupt ministers, police men and senior officials, together with details of their corrupt activities.
Two senior government officials appeared in court this week to answer charges of corruptly allocating Operation Garikayi houses to people who were not victims of Operation Murambatsvina. This comes in the wake of the suspension of ivory sales by National Parks because of corruption.