ZIMBABWE has been grappling with corruption for years now, dating back to the time of the Willowgate scandal, Grain Marketing Board saga in which the late former Cabinet minister Kumbirai Kangai was involved.
By Fungai Nhaitai, Our Reader
In 1994, War Victims Compensation scandal; 1999 National Oil Company of Zimbabwe scandal; 2016 Command Agriculture scandal and 2018, Zesa scandal involving Samuel Undenge, just to mention a few.
Zimbabwe ranks joint 160th out of 180 countries in the 2016 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index.
From the time the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission was formed, not even a single official was arrested, let alone tried.
The late former President Robert Mugabe used to talk about corruption, but failed to take it head-on. Just like we see in this so-called second republic today.
Corruption exists in every country and undermines social justice in many.
It diverts public funds meant for development to rich elites, raids resources intended for poverty reduction and distorts the economy, with the biggest impact felt by the poorest people in society. We have not been spared from this scenario.
According to most economists, the root cause of corruption lies in the delegation of power. It is the discretionary use of that power and the often monopolistic position public officials enjoy when dealing with contacts, which make corruption possible.
The incentives and opportunities for corruption depend on the size of the rents, or the personal profits, which public agents can derive from allocating contracts.
I have seen these dealings in different institutions, from churches to government organisations.
Corruption, therefore, occurs at point where political, bureaucratic and economic interests coincide. There is also legislative corruption when politicians betray the electorate by selling their votes to pressure groups and donating goods and food donated by China or other countries.
Another act of corruption which we have witnessed in the country was the abuse of the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund money meant for skills development which was allegedly diverted by former minister Jonathan Moyo and it was used to sponsor Zanu PF rallies.
We have also witnessed Zanu PF doling out residential stands and giving food to prospective voters in the country.
People should be wary of such tendencies. Justice delayed is justice denied. Parastatals are the most targeted areas of corruption.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reading from the same script which his predecessor always read from about corruption, but it looks like he is even worse than Mugabe. As long as we keep sweeping corruption under the carpet Zimbabwe will continue to repel investors.
The level of corruption in Zimbabwe has now reached critical levels and if no action is taken the country is going to be a banana republic and a laughing stock of other countries.
A once vibrant and jewel of Africa economy, Zimbabwe has now sunk deep in economic morass.