CiZC Statement on Africa Day

Today, May 25, 2018 Zimbabwe joins other African nations in commemorating Africa Day under the theme; “Winning the fight against corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s transformation”.

On this very important day, which also serves to reinforce the need for unity, peace and democracy as pre-requisites for development in Africa, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) reiterates that eradicating corruption in all its forms is equally important for the development of African states.

In light of this, CiZC would like to register its concern over the lackadaisical approach or apparent lack of political will by Zimbabwean authorities to fight corruption which is largely responsible for the country’s economic woes.

In as much as the setting up of the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) was touted as a major step in fighting corruption, there has not been meaningful progress in addressing the plunder of the country’s resources by politicians and other powerful authorities.

It is a fact that the ZACC has proved to be redundant while executing its mandate in a selective manner and this has seen some corrupt officials being regarded as sacred cows in the fight against corruption.

If anything, ZACC has proved to be a commission set up to persecute individuals deemed to be politically incorrect and this selective application of the law has been the greatest flaw of the commission.

CiZC implores the current administration led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to ensure that the law is applied without fear or favour if efforts to combat corruption are to bear fruit.

We also take note of the fact that ZACC has been sitting on a lot of high profile corruption cases which have not been brought to finality and this stems from its selective application of the law and abuse of office by authorities.

This is coming at a time the government has failed to act on corruption cases implicating several government departments and officials revealed in the Auditor General’s reports.

CiZC deplores a continuation of the Mugabe era during which the former President would publicly speak out against corruption by his cronies yet there was no action against the alleged culprits.

Since the ushering in of the new dispensation, there have been arrests of the former President, Robert Mugabe’s allies on corruption charges and as CiZC (in as much as we welcome steps towards addressing corruption) we are suspicious that the move is meant to give a false impression of commitment to end corruption. Rather it is a clampdown on enemies of the current President, Emmerson Mnangagwa disguised as a fight against corruption.

It is also a fact that the cabinet announced by President Mnangagwa after his inauguration failed to instill confidence among Zimbabweans as it mostly comprised of individuals who were associated with corruption cases and where among those that were in the past labeled as corrupt by the former President, Robert Mugabe.

On another note, CiZC call upon the Zimbabwean government to ratify and domesticate several African Charters that seek to promote democracy as well as transparency in African States.

More importantly, CiZC urges the government to ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance signed by President Mnangagwa in March 2018.

This is quite pressing especially given the fact that Zimbabwe is set to hold watershed elections between July and August this year. CiZC however remains quite skeptical that the Zimbabwean government would be able to ratify and domesticate this charter before the 2018 polls.

As CiZC, we would also like to reaffirm our commitment to democracy and restate that as long as the fundamental values of democracy are not respected and upheld, corruption and abuse of public office will continue to flourish and this would ultimately negatively affect efforts at Zimbabwe’s development.

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