HARARE – Reports that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) had obtained search and seizure warrants from the High Court must have come as good news to crisis-weary citizens.
And as the anti-graft body readies to pounce on several parastatals, and ministries, we sincerely hope Zacc will be allowed to do its duty unhindered after the Mines, Indigenisation ministries and Nieeb fiasco.
The anti-corruption body inspectors’ raids — which are reportedly targeting the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara), Zesa Holdings (Zesa), NetOne, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz), City of Harare, Kingstons and the Transport ministry among others — were meant to probe allegations of corruption.
There were also reports that Zacc would also raid Harare South constituency following reports that Zanu PF-linked cooperatives and officials were duping people into buying stands, which were not backed by government approval.
Zacc must not stop there. There is so much going on around the country worth its scrutiny. Corruption has become institutionalised, with glaring cases often being swept under the carpet. There is not a week that passes without reports of massive graft, particularly in State-owned enterprises.
Local authorities countrywide have become major outposts of graft and financial impropriety, particularly in the allocation of stands. Councillors and top council officials have been routinely accused of parcelling out residential stands to themselves and their relatives as well as politicians at the expense of the ordinary residents who spent decades on their housing waiting lists.
The Cold Storage Company, which used to be a major beef exporter to the European Union, is virtually on its knees owing to a myriad of governance challenges, depletion of the national herd and corruption.
Zesa is in the middle of a storm after a $5 million advance payment to Intratrek Zimbabwe, in a development that has also sucked in Energy minister Samuel Undenge and leading to opposition calls for his immediate resignation.
On the other hand, NetOne and Caaz have had their fair share of controversy, with underhand dealings and allegations of corruption topping the list of challenges bedevilling them. There are individuals who openly flaunt ill-gotten wealth, using it to put up mansions and buying expensive vehicles in an environment where the ordinary citizen, especially the rural dweller, is surviving on less than one dollar a day.
It is our hope that Zacc is going to be allowed the autonomy it requires to deal with cases on its files.
Once there is political interference, the anti-graft body’s work is compromised.
Whoever is caught on the wrong side of the law must be prosecuted. The attitude of authorities towards corruption has largely led to the growth of the cancer.
This cannot be allowed to continue, because it is the poor ordinary folks who are the net losers.