Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

'State did not demand repay US$ b RBZ loans, all above board' said Gono - essence of institutionalised corruption

20 Jul 2020 at 11:45hrs | Views
After decades of denying that corruption was rampant is Zimbabwe, Mugabe shocked the nation in his 2016 birthday interview with ZBC TV when he admitted the country was "been swindled out of US$15 billion in diamond revenue alone!" He never arrested one swindler or recover one swindled dollar.

When Mnangagwa took over from Mugabe following the November 2017 military coup that topple the dictator, he promised "zero tolerance on corruption". It is now nearly three years since the takeover and he too has yet to arrest one swindler and recover one swindled dollar.

Most of people Mnangagwa has arrested for corruption are either the small fish accused of looting the small change or likewise the big fish accused of looting small charge. Occasionally the regime has had to arrest the big fish accused of looting large sums of money, former Minister of Health Obadiah Moyo being one such example. The standard procedure is to arrest the big fish, to placate the restless public, and then realise then as soon as it is convenient to do so.

There only big fish accused of looting whom the regime has pursued with keen interest are former Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, former Zanu PF propagandist and strategist Professor Jonathan Moyo and a few other G40 leaders. The pursuit is to settle Zanu PF factional scores than to root out corruption.

"Corruption is deep rooted!" Mnangagwa has since admitted.

What Mnangagwa meant is corruption is institutionalised. Whereas Alphonse Gabriel Capone, one of history's most notorious Mafia gangster, contended with bribing the Police, Judges, ordinary citizens and killed many along the way; Mugabe and his Zanu PF thugs went one step further, they were the state and so legalised thuggery!

Corruption was institutionalised.

In a damning article Dr Alex Magaisa has revealed how senior Zanu PF officials looted millions of US dollars in 2007 to 2008 from the RBZ through murky Farm Mechanisation Programme. President Emmerson Mnangagwa pocketed US$411 728 for his farm, Pricabe Enterprises. None of the beneficiaries paid back the loans and the bank itself was allowed to write off the debt as a national debt.

"Both rural and non-rural farmers benefited from the takeover of the loans by the State but I shall elaborate. There was no scandal here, no corruption and no beneficiary refused to pay. The State did not demand payment and that was above board," the governor of RBZ, Gideon Gono explain.

"The RBZ undertook this quasi-fiscal activity at the behest of Government and in the national interest.

"This was done in accordance with the then Section 8 of the RBZ Act Chapter (22:15) which authorised State to direct the Central Bank to carry out transactions in such a manner as the State may require and if so requested by the State, the Bank was to make the necessary arrangements to this end."

The list of receptions included senior Zanu PF officials, judges and their families and friends. Gideon Gono himself was the proud owner of a chicken farm so well-funded, everything was computerized; a totally an unnecessary investment in a country where human labour is so cheap and abandon. He splashed the fortune into the high-tech because he had the money to spend.

Indeed, most, if not all, the beneficiaries of the murky Farm Mechanisation Programme and many, many other similar looting schemes would have refused to take the money if they had known they would be expected to pay it back because they knew their hare-brain projects would fail.

Institutionalised corruption is the root cause of Zimbabwe's total economic meltdown, how anyone can claim that to be in the "national interest" beggars belief!

Why the MDC failed to implement the democratic reforms which would have stopped Zanu PF rigging elections when they had the golden opportunity to do so during the 2008 to 2013 GNU and, to make matters worse, keep participating in flawed elections to give Zanu PF legitimacy; is a measure of just how hopelessly lost we are!

It is foolish that those who participated in flawed elections and thus gave the vote rigging Zanu PF regime legitimacy are the ones leading the street protests; supposedly to end corruption! Of course, this is just a political gimmick; you do not fight to legitimise a mafia regime today and then hope to end corruption the next day.

Chamisa and the rest of the opposition candidates will be participating in the 2023 elections with no reforms in place just as they have done in the past. Mark my words!

As long as Zanu PF is able to rig elections and remain the state and controlling all of the state institutions then corruption will remain rampant because with Zanu PF in power corruption will always remain institutionalised. So, if we are serious about ending corruption, we must first stop Zanu PF rigging the elections and thus deprive the party the state power and authority!

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.