Political figures hijack public forums and meetings for political gain

Zimbabwe’s rampant corruption within positions of authority has made it one of the lowest rated countries on the corruption perception index at 154 of 183 countries researched, and the control of corruption index where it currently sits at 173 of 187 countries (Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index 2011).

Similarly the World Bank’s rating of the country’s government effectiveness, control of corruption and accountability have all fallen below 10% in the last decade (World Bank – Worldwide Governance Indicators).

This footage is of the Fields Day (formerly Agriculture Day) celebration, a huge annual event in the Zimbabwean national calendar marking the beginning of the agricultural marketing season. The event is usually held on the farm of an influential local farmer and is usually attended by the cream of the ruling party’s political line-up. This year it was held on Glasara farm, a large tobacco farm in the Mt. Darwin area (The Sunday Mail, ‘Go for value addition’, 04 March 2012).

It is an event considered equal in importance and status to Heroes Day and is attended by many politicians, who themselves also often own large-yield tobacco farms (VOA, www.whoswho.co.za political profiles). While the agenda of the meeting is for rewarding Zimbabwe’s most resourceful and successful farmers (as well as being a forum for agricultural development), the day is dominated by speeches highlighting party ideologies for the upcoming elections.

Local perceptions of rife corruption (Transparency International, Daily Lives and Corruption: Public Opinion in Southern Africa Survey, 2011) are further supported by the personal and political interests of the speakers in this footage. This begs the question of whether this trend of mixing personal interests and political ambition might exacerbate the already fragile stability of the country’s political and social situation leading up to the national elections later this year.

Post published in: Analysis

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