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Why keep bad company, Mr President?

04 Nov 2020 at 05:51hrs | Views
DEAR President Emmerson Mnangagwa,

On October 26, around midday, Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Ruswaya was arrested at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport for attempting to smuggle 6kg of gold, but was foiled, as reports have indicated, by military intelligence officers who had been tracking her.

What makes sad reading Mr President is that members of staff in your office, as represented by one Stephen Tserayi in this matter, were part of the alleged heist.

What is worse Your Excellency is that one of the accused persons, Gift Karanda, we are told dropped the names of the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and son Collins as owners of the precious mineral that Rushwaya, a former soccer administrator who led the Zimbabwe Football Association at the height of a scandal that became known as Asiagate, was transporting.

The First Lady later issued a statement denying any relations of a criminal nature with Rushwaya and also exonerated Collins, whom she described as a hardworking and honest man.

I have no reason to doubt the statement by the First Lady and that she may not have been involved, but what is worrying, and forms the basis of this letter, Your Excellency, is the company you keep, the dubious characters you allow near you.

First it was Delish Nguwaya, a local representative of Drax International, a company that was implicated in a multi-million dollar COVID-19 tender scam.

Nguwaya, a young man of questionable integrity, is in pictures always with you, one of them as a donor of medical equipment tothe government.

We were told, with evidence in the form of pictures, that he has strong links to the First Family.

It does not augur well for you, Your Excellency, that people who are caught on the wrong side of the law quickly drop your name, the First Lady's or your children's.

Of course, we have seen statements by the party you lead, Zanu-PF, the police, the First Lady and some of your lieutenants attacking those who drop your name, but that is not enough Your Excellency.

Why keep bad company?

Why keep rogue elements in your midst and not talk tough against them?

We hold you to your words in November 2017 when you came in after taking over from the late former President Robert Mugabe, and you said you abhorred corruption and threatened all elements involved in graft that their days were numbered.

The tone of your voice that time, Your Excellency, made us think there would be bloodbath and no one would, in 2020, dare or even think of dropping your name in corruption issues.

I am not going to judge you on whether you have failed or not, Your Excellency, in fighting corruption, but what I am saying is people who are close to you or claim proximity to your family are abusing your name and that of the First Family. That is if they are not your errands boys/girls.

What is clear and shocking is those people are not afraid to drop the First Family's names as if it is normal to do for them to get away with murder.

Throw them under the bus if they are lying. Prove us wrong if they are not connected to your family in any way.

How many times has Rushwaya, for example, passed through the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport with officials from your office accompanying her?

How many times have the names of the First Family been used by criminal elements?

How many times the alleged criminals used pictures they were taken with you and your family at your house or office to justify criminal acts of this nature?

And it is not only on corruption issues, others are doing it in the Zanu-PF district co-ordinating committee elections where we are told they claim to be close to you and yet some are related to you.

Why do they think they can use your name and get away with murder if you, yourself are squeaky clean? The company you keep tells us more about who you are than anything you might claim to be on any platform.

Moses Matenga is a journalist based in Harare. He writes here in his personal capacity.

Source - newsday
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