HARARE – President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF government will need to gain trust from the populace by weeding out corruption in all sectors of the economy.
Mugabe has already set in motion the wheels of justice by ordering a probe into allegations that former Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairperson — Godwills Masimirembwa — demanded and received a $6 million bribe from a Ghanaian investor.
While Mugabe appears well-meaning and keen to send a strong message that he will brook no nonsense in his drive to launch a crackdown against corrupt senior officials, the Masimirembwa case has been met with scepticism.
This is so because of previous but futile attempts by police and the anti graft body — Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (Zacc) — to bust corrupt activities by alleged Zanu PF bigwigs.
Zacc were frustrated in their attempts to raid offices of suspected ministers who were alleged to have been heavily engaged in corrupt activities.
Not a good advert for a crackdown against corruption.
Mugabe’s spirit must be met with action that recognises the role that the Zacc plays and capacitating them to fulfil their mandate.
As it is, it appears corruption is only seen in Masimirembwa and the diamond industry.
Yes there are many questions with regards to the diamond industry such as if Zimbabwe mined 13 million carats whose price averages $100 per carat, then where is $13 billion realised from their trade?
Zimbabweans will treat the seriousness of Mugabe’s calls to halt corruption only when there is action.
We expect thorough investigations in the diamond industry including auditing those investors who succeeded in their applications and those who failed.
Those who succeeded, how did they do it?
And those who failed, how did they fail?
But probes should also be extended to institutions such the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) whose handling of pension funds has been fraught with irregularities.
The nation would want to know how Nssa is investing their funds, where and how?
Nssa has been operating profitably — posting impressive results under the stewardship of a performing board.
But it is only fair to probe Nssa’s activities given that no action has been taken on the findings of a ministerial-appointed investigation team which unearthed many irregularities.
Our country will remain fractured and impoverished as long as there are half-hearted attempts to deal with corruption.
It’s up to Mugabe to maintain the heat.