How to tackle corruption, violence in the MDC

Recent reports of the emergence of both corruption and political violence in the MDC come as no surprise to some of us. We must understand that all of us are victims of the political culture of violence and corruption under which we have lived for the past 32 years. This is the political culture imposed on the Zimbabwe body politick by none other than the former liberation movement, Zanu (PF).

John Makumbe
John Makumbe

Being products of that culture, it is only natural that when push comes to shove, as over-ambitious individuals seek to enter the corridors of power, some individuals will resort to both political violence and corruption. Further, our near comatose economy has the tendency of tempting those among us who have accessed a little bit of power and authority to abuse these instruments for self aggrandizement. The corrupt abuse of some council resources is a case in point. The MDC also suffers from the problem of knowing its members and supporters well enough to be able to distinguish between the bad and the good apples. The party is just so large that there is no capacity to vet every card-holder before they are issued with the membership card. Indeed, some elements from Zanu (PF), including some Central Intelligence spies, have easily obtained MDC membership cards which enable them to attend virtually all party functions with ease.

They will then be able to carry out their damaging work against the party of excellence without being found out. It is my considered view that over the years, Zanu (PF) has found it quite easy to infiltrate, not just the MDC, but virtually all other political parties operating in this country today. The lack of unity among these political parties also makes it a lot easier for the former ruling and now reeling party to get away with such infiltrations.

How can these problems be resolved by the leadership of the MDC? Given the size of the MDC, there should be no hesitation on the part of the leadership to thoroughly investigate all reported cases of corruption and political violence among its members. Individuals found on the wrong side of the party’s principles should be evicted without delay. They should also be subjected to a properly constituted disciplinary committee hearing before being evicted.

No party member should be sacrosanct. Some of these measures are already being effected, and some corrupt councillors have already been expelled from the party.

The party should also tighten its vetting process to ensure that bad apples find it difficult to join. Well-thought out guidelines need to be devised, debated by the leadership and popularised among the people as soon as possible. These guidelines will have to be followed whenever new members are recruited, and whenever leaders at all levels are being elected.

Further, the party needs to embark on a strenuous programme of training all its leaders as soon as they have been elected into office. It is naive to expect that all those who are popularly elected into office know the party principles, aims, objectives and values. On the contrary, the majority of leaders at the various levels guess their way through the first few years of their term of office. This is the very time they are most likely to fall foul of what the party stands for. They need help and the party leadership has to provide it.[email protected]

Post published in: Analysis

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