It’s good introducing anti-corruption curricular at ECD, but why don’t we start by uprooting graft right from top echelons of power?

Have you ever come across an unrepentant serial rapist, and wife beater, who is in the strange habit of loudly proclaiming to be an ardent gender rights, and anti-sexual abuse, activist - whilst, also at the same time, propagating amazing programs and strategies on how to effectively root out this menace and scourge from society?

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

 

Well, in this world there are always things that can only be best described as “stranger than fiction” – yet, indeed, there are such people.

I am not quite certain whether such a person could be characterized as plainly delusional, or more aptly, a pathological liar – whose over-stated attempts at concealing his devious and dastardly acts, turns him into one of the most ridiculous and pathetic pretenders.

That is exactly what I thought of, when I read the screaming newspaper headline, in the state-controlled Herald, proudly declaring how the Zimbabwe government was planning in introducing anti-corruption curricula in the country’s educational institutions – starting from Early Childhood Development (EDC) level, up to university.

Well, the first thing that came into my mind was, “All this is well and truly good, but we’re talking about a government that is led by people who can only be described as the ‘god-fathers of corruption’, so how exactly do they hope to teach anti-corruption?”

Of course, we all know that there is a popular saying, “in order to catch a thief, one needs to send a thief” – or, something to that effect – but, the notion of this regime seriously placing genuine measures to effectively curb graft, was just too much for me to fathom or swallow.

My second thought was, therefore, “Why don’t those in the ruling elite – notorious for their record-breaking incomprehensible propensity for looting and plundering state resources (whose, shocking levels border on the compulsive and psychotic) begin by purging graft within their own ranks first, before rushing to embark on some grand anti-corruption schemes?”

Would that no have made more sense?

For a country that appears to have a plethora of institutions mandated by the state to investigate, arrest, and prosecute corruption cases – such as, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) [a Chapter 13 constitutional body], the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) [based in the president’s office], and even another similar division in the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) – one would not expect such an undertaking to be much of a headache.

However, Zimbabweans are never short of corruption related news reports, involving those inhabiting, or connected to, top government offices – on a frighteningly near regular basis.

Was the nation not recently treated to some juicy details over seemingly shady dealings involving one of president Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa’s allies, and member of his advisory committee, Kudakwashe Tagwirei?

In this report – which was researched and published by a United States (US) based entity, The Sentry, and entitled, “Shadows and Shell Games” – there were numerous, Soap Opera or even Mafia style, allegations of Tagwirei’s vast offshore business empire, which appeared to suggest the existence of corruption, abuse of office, conflict of interest, tax evasion, breaches of the country’s public procurement laws, and so many more.

As if this was not terrible enough, very close relatives of those in the country’s corridors of power, have been named in various underhand activities – ranging from scandalous government COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement, to being implicated by various creepy characters in shady undertakings.

Yet, there has been one glaring aspect to all these seemingly unending accusations – lack of any significant investigative interest by our substantial state institutions, legally-obligated to dig into these matters.

As a matter if fact, the only real response by the powers-that-be to these allegations, has been outrage and a vitriolic response – threatening any, and all, making such accusations with drastic and unenviable consequences.

How, then, can a government embroiled in such potential national embarrassments, of global proportions, be seriously expected to be an honest broker, and a trailblazer in any sincere anti-corruption crusades and initiatives?

Would it not have made more sense, had those in the ruling elite began by encouraging genuine investigations into their own dubious dealings with their friends and families?

Surely, who in this country, or the world at large, can be expected to take these laughable assertions – on the introduction of an anti-corruption curricula in educational institutions – with the seriousness they would normally deserve, when the proponents of such a scheme, are themselves, the ones urgently needing to be placed under scrutiny for grand theft?

© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, author, and political commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263733399640, or email: [email protected]

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