Under the morbidly corrupt and repressive Robert Mugabe – fronted Zanu PF dictatorship over the past 37 years, corruption had become so deeply rooted in all the various facets of both the public and private sectors such that it had come to be accepted as part and parcel of our daily lives. Thus, the fight to identify, curb and eventually eliminate corruption in all its various forms is going to be a mammoth task. But it can and it should be done if our beloved motherland is to turn the corner and stop the prevailing socio – economic decay and trepidation.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced a 90 day moratorium to enable all persons, both natural and artificial, who illegally externalised money from Zimbabwe to return all that money without any questions being asked. This amnesty should apply to persons who illegally externalised money, regardless of their political affiliation and/or factional affiliation within the ruling party.
The MDC advocates for a holistic and all – embracing fight against the evil of corruption. This fight shouldn’t be motivated by any political and/or factional considerations. It has to be a thorough and complete clean – up exercise that should sent out the message, loud and clear, that corruption will never, ever be tolerated. It is a public secret that, over the years, top politicians and other well – connected individuals illegally externalised huge amounts of money.
Some of these criminals have actually gone ahead to buy and/or construct expensive mansions in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Dubai and Hong Kong, using the proceeds from these externalised funds. Billions of United States dollars, particularly arising from the illicit sale of diamonds from the Marange and Chiadzwa diamond fields, were illegally externalised by these criminals. All this money should be brought back to Zimbabwe sooner rather than later.
The fight against corruption shouldn’t only target small fish. Even the big fish must be fried. Corrupt deals such as the release of US$5 million by the former Energy Minister Samuel Undenge to one Wicknell Chivhayo for the construction of a power project that never materialised should be thoroughly investigated. Criminals and crooks shouldn’t be allowed to have their cake and eat it. In fact, criminals and some other such looters belong in prison. In addition, all assets that were acquired through the proceeds of sleave and graft, in and outside Zimbabwe, must be confiscated and converted into State property.
Zimbabwe is currently ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. We are also ranked very lowly on the doing business scale. All these miserable and depressing statistics are inimical to attracting both domestic and foreign direct investment. An MDC government will ruthlessly crack the whip and ensure that no one, no matter who you are, shall get away with corruption. Corruption is simply defined as the abuse of one’s position for private gain. We should inculcate the spirit of honesty and integrity within all facets of our society. All corrupt officials, in both the public and private sectors, must be named and shamed.
The government should walk the talk.The MDC will not tolerate lip service to the fight against corruption. Within the next few weeks, we look forward to seeing an uncompromising clamp down all forms of corruption that are presently running amok in Zimbabwe. The jury is out.
MDC: Equal Opportunities for All
Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson