Why do Zimbabweans have a dim wit for Vice President?

Aristotle`s words many, many years ago, clearly describe the state that is Zimbabwe. He wrote: “Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber”.

Vice president Phelekezela Mphoko

Vice president Phelekezela Mphoko

Incredibly prophetic about Zimbabwe, is it not? We will return to the issue of dumbness later. For now, let us dispense with Mphoko`s political trespassing and prying in what is a purely legal issue: the corruption scandals involving the Tsholotsho “honourable” Member, Jonathan Moyo.

The alleged corruption scandal involving Jonathan Moyo and officials in his ministry has made headlines in recent days, and still is a subject of much talk and discussion. Moyo stands accused of embezzling about $430 000 in ZIMDEF funds.

It is common-cause Mphoko (I have spelt his name very correctly) has jumped into the melee and ruckus, condemning the attempted arrest of Jonathan Moyo by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. According to Mphoko, the attempted arrest would “destabilize the country”, was “tantamount to undermining the authority of Mugabe, because only Mugabe can order the arrest of ministers because he appoints them. He says the commission has no authority to arrest a cabinet minister.

Without even facing the hard facts involved in this matter, Mphoko concludes that Moyo is being targeted because he supports Mugabe. Part of the embezzled funds were used to finance the “One Million Man March”, staged in support of Mugabe sometime early this year. “So why do you arrest such a man?” Mphoko asks.

Instead of addressing the corruption allegations, Mphoko instead resorts to diversion: now the government is hunting for the individual behind the attempted arrest of Jonathan Moyo. He was not done yet: “There are many corrupt ministers and ZANU officials that are not being arrested”!

I wrote a piece on Supa Mandiwanzira`s corruption scandal involving a supposed loan of about $200 000 to buy a car in July this year (www.nehandaradio.com/2016/07/02/). In this article I opined that corruption in Zimbabwe will never be arrested when there is selective application of the law. Second, the problem in Zimbabwe is that the head of the fish is rotten and corrupt to the core. This is one chief weakness of Africa`s fight against corruption: the corruption fish hook is deliberately designed to catch small fish; when it comes to the so called big fish, the actual corruption charge sheet is ignored and tribalism, regionalism, successionism etcetera are thrown on the table. I wrote in this article, in Swahili, the following:

“Mfumo wowote wa uongozi ni kama samaki. Huanza kuoza kuanzia kichwani. Mkia ukianza kutoa harufu  mbaya, ujue kichwa kimekwisha vunda”. (Leadership, like fish, rots from the head downwards to the tail. If the tail begins to smell, then know the head is rotten to the core or is no longer there at all.)

How does the ZAC become a competent corruption fighting body when it has to report to Mugabe before making an arrest? What a farce! What if Mugabe is an interested party? This is completely astonishing! Mphoko has the temerity to open his big mouth to defend allegations of criminal behavior? How do we move forward as a country with these fools?

Mugabe himself has recently been accused of having not less than 14 farms grabbed during the violent land reform program. Now, according to Mphoko, we need a fraudster`s consent to arrest another fraudster? Say what? And this is a Vice President of a country with above 90% literacy rate suggesting this?

Immunity from prosecution

Mphoko is from the school of thought that believes ZANU PF officials are immune from corruption and they can behave and act with total impunity. What his government will do is to hunt and arrest the one person who attempts to expose, let alone arrest, corrupt ZANU PF officials!

This is not a revelation, according to Zimbabwean law, only the president enjoys immunity from prosecution. Either Mphoko has never bothered to read the Constitution or he has no respect for it, or both. Chapter 13 (Article 255) of the Constitution (on Institutions that Combat Crime and Corruption) is very clear about the role and power of ZAC:

The Commissioner-General of Police must comply with any directive given to him or her by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission under subsection (1) (e).

Now, Mphoko must be an idiot, an imbecile, a dunce, a blockhead or a dolt to say he does not understand this simple provision of the constitution. There is a list of a few ministers arrested before. In March 2000, Kumbirai Kangai was arrested and charged (and later acquitted) with corruption involving the siphoning away of Z$228m in government funds. Elton Mangona was arrested and charged with criminal abuse of office on May 12, 2015. Where these ministers “under” the law, and not above it, then?

Now we know with certainty

The whole Moyo corruption saga has got Zimbabweans knowing: corruption is the key driver in the political survival of ZANU PF. Without it, the “one million” man march could not have been held. Moyo and Kasukuwere corruptly financed it using ZIMDEF monies.

While Moyo is busy distributing bicycles, Grace Mugabe and others are also distributing tractors, seed, and cooking oil etcetera from stolen funds. Now we know all these philanthropist gangsters are crooked and corrupt!

Now we know why the country is a basket case run corrupt professors! Now we know the sanctions vibe used by ZANU PF is a farce. Now we know, the current assets possessed by ZANU PF officials, including Mujuru and co., are a consequence of a generation of stealing from the state in the name of philanthropism!

Jonathan Moyo`s defense

Moyo denies all corruption charges and argues all was donation meant for poor people in Tsholotsho. But this is only coming up now. Like Mphoko, instead of addressing the hard facts raised in the corruption charge sheet, Moyo attacks whoever wanted to arrest him as tribalistic. He does not explain why he would authorize Chipanga, who is not state official, to get 100 000 liters of government diesel.

In admitting stealing and abusing state funds, Jonathan Moyo incredibly compares himself to Robin Hood (www.herald.co.zw)- stealing from the rich in order to give to the poor (in Tsholotsho). The question is, why is this only coming out at this point? Did the poor people of Tsholotsholo know that the bicycles acquired for them by the humanitarian Jonathan Moyo were bought by dirty money? Where is the audited papers? Was there any change money from the dealings involving Fuzzy Technologies, ZIMDEF, Wishbone Trading, HIB Rajput etcetera, and where did it go to?

Carry your cross, Jonathan

What goes around comes around.

On April 3, 2014, while addressing a press conference (the inaugural meeting of the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry), Jonathan Moyo advised Temba Mliswa and those fingered in looting state coffers to face the music and not expect the media to adopt a “molly-coddle theme.”

He went further: “This is the ultimate corrupt act to say you abuse public funds, you are caught with your hands in the till, it is published and then you say it is destroying the party.”

Whatever you say will come back to haunt you. How history has a rather funny way of sneaking into the present! Moyo, during the same press conference, further clarified with respect to the Temba Mliswa corruption case:

“You want us to keep quite under the pretext that what you did that is unlawful was for your party and that if it comes out- just because you belong to that political party- you will go down with the political party. That doesn’t make sense.”

Now Mphoko needs to know that it doesn’t make sense when a person of his stature opens his mouth and charge that arresting Jonathan Moyo for corruption will destabilize the country. It is a “primitive understanding of things”! Jonathan must be made to “carry his own cross”. It is him and “him alone, not the party”.

Mphoko must allow the due process of law to take its course: if Moyo is innocent, he will surely be cleared.

But what do you expect from Mphoko, a chap who was himself corruptly appointed to his current position and fraudulently stayed in an up market hotel for not less than 500 days, ripping the state $500/day! Since Mphoko became Vice President, nothing meaningful has protruded from the two corners of his mouth. Is Mphoko a dimwit, ignorant, considerably a cortically sub illuminated chap or is he just singing for his supper?

In fact, there is a saying that the size of one`s lips is directly proportional to one`s brains. The larger the lips, the smaller the brains! If you do feel this applies to Mphoko, you have to get to examine yourself.

But anything goes in Zimbabwe. Unless the country is blessed with a new, people oriented leadership, corruption and thievery of public funds ostensibly to feed the public won`t stop. When the state, through its Vice President, refuses to abide by its own constitution and laws there is only one appropriate word to describe it: dictatorship!

Tichatonga Mangwana is a researcher based in Nairobi, Kenya, at the Institute of Research for Development. He strongly believes that the long term solution to Zimbabwe`s problems is a change of government and that this change has been hampered thanks to a weak opposition re: the absence of visionary opposition leadership and an opposition that has failed to fight for genuine electoral reform.

Post published in: Featured
  1. Profesor Dr Amai
    • Fooled
  2. Marty
  3. Fooled

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *