Opinion / Columnist
Corruption at ZBC is just a fraction of the Zimbabwe crisis
01 Jan 2014 at 22:31hrs | Views
I am sure the alleged report about the 400 ZBC ghost workers did not surprise many. ZBC could not be the only venture contributing to the downfall of our lovely Zimbabwe. So many other public ventures have been mismanaged and poorly run for self gain by the publicly-appointed leaders. Natural resources have been openly abused and squandered. As disgruntled citizens have continued screaming abuse, government leaders have played deaf and dumb. As leaders now talk of millions of dollars in salaries, packages and benefits, 99% of Zimbabweans are talking of just a few hundreds to buy food and pay rent. Many are going unpaid for months and to the government, this is normal because the inertia is unsettling. Then the gap between rich and poor has simply become ridiculous.
The emergence of the Anti Corruption Task Force seemed like a panacea at the start but the Force lost all its teeth and has become another talking shop or rather a toothless bulldog: more paperwork and meetings in exchange for no tangible proof for work done. The vicious cycle has seen escalated corruption without consequences. In that chaos of lawlessness, many leaders in Zimbabwe have exploited the situation and flowed with monetary figures characteristic of the erstwhile inflation.
As many in ZANU PF are spending sleepless nights trying to right wrongs in the dysfunctional economy, the leaders forget that the only magic wand is that of creating an anti-corruption bug. Most of the complained-about issues have been self-imposed in some way. To date, this paper, together with many other media outlets, has reported an estimated 167 opinion pieces on what Zimbabwe can do to nab the runaway corruption. Of those high-sounding suggestions freely offered with authentic advice and solutions, not even an iota of change has happened. It has been empty threats, promises to hold meetings and investigations, undertakings to excavate corruption and just no other action to arrest the problem.
Corruption reports have become some form of street talk in Zimbabwe. To some extent, they also have become some form of rhetoric entertainment that's caricatured within social circles. The long and short of this whole scenario has made Zimbabwe a satire.
Here are the reasons why corruption will be part of Zimbabwe.
Despite investigations and threats, no one will touch the culprits. Added to that, most of those who are tasked with investigations already have their own skeletons hidden in their own cupboards so no one is cleaner.
There has never been a clear example of a high profile leader being openly handled to send the right signal to stop the corruption bug and re-ignite confidence among the suffering masses.
Even the President has made a thousand promises to act but has never taken those promises a yard away from the very podium where he promises urgent action.
The Civil Service payroll has ghost workers too. This issue has been reported a thousand times but no one has bothered to check what exactly is going on. This is the very pay roll carrying war veterans that were born as late as 1990, a decade after independence!
There is nothing amiss about Zimbabwean leaders ignoring reports on corruption. This is the new national diet. Every public leader in Zimbabwe is now corrupt. These reports flow in daily but the fact the culprits remain "untouchable" makes the whole issue a circus. George Orwell was right in Animal Farm that all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. That is why a Minister in Zimbabwe can corruptly own 520 residential and commercial properties and walks away with applauses for being a McGyver in property acquisitions.
This is the very nation where poor villagers can get supplies of cyanide to poison elephants on behalf of cabinet ministers and they get 15 year jail sentences as the government fails to investigate how a poor villager accesses cyanide ( a top level chemical that only a cabinet minister can arrange to import). As the poor innocent villagers are sacrificed to lengthy jail terms, ordinary citizens get dazzled on the guilt of villagers forgetting that there is more to the story than the dazzling lights. That's the very reason causing more elephants to still die despite reports by concerned conservationists that the situation must be arrested and proper investigations implemented to track the roots of the cyanide. That's the very reason why the wives and children of the jailed innocent have been visited by the CIO to zip their mouths unless they want to join their husbands in Chikurubi. That's the cause for that Chinese guy to have the audacity to put an elephant tusk in his suit case and check in at he airport. Did anyone ver hear what happened to him? That's Zimbabwe.
Current land audits reveal multiple farm ownership and laborer abuse without consequence. A Zimbabwe where foreigners like the Chinese have slowly been acquiring the very little we have in the name of friendships. And the very people with access to internet papers make comments that we are not being colonized because the Chinese are all weather friends. If they are, then why not get financial injection to get the economy back on track?
No matter how many more papers will report about corruption, nothing will change. If President Mugabe was willing to bring sanity to Zimbabwe on this corruption bug, he could stop it today. Unfortunately, this is harvest time for ZANU PF and its leaders. The end result is the embarrassing failure to run the economy, causing many to suffer and leave the country. The leaders have failed because they overlook critical hotline alerts like the one emerging from ZBC. If it were another "No nonsense" country, many in ZBC could already be behind bars right now serving as true examples of betraying one's country. Luckily, this is Zimbabwe. Anyone can get away with anything. Thanks ZANU PF.
Source - Joram Nyandoro
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