By Tabani Mpofu
In the fight against corruption I draw my inspiration from events in history, both in my country, Zimbabwe and elsewhere. All meaningful victories and achievements in the past that had the effect of altering the course of history for the better in the world were attained after seemingly insurmountable setbacks. The fight against entrenched maladies and practices is never easy.
In Zimbabwe, the fight against racial oppression and subjugation did not get up to a flying start. Seven brave young men, who set out to confront a well-oiled and fully-equipped Rhodesian military machine were wiped out in a military battle in Chinhoyi.
In retrospect , there are many who viewed the bravado of the seven guerrillas as poorly planned, naive and ill-thought out. Many were convinced that the fight against the military might of the Rhodesian army was a futile one which was surely doomed to end in an ignominious failure and defeat. Yet 18 April 1980 happened.
The setbacks in the liberation struggle did not end in Chinhoyi. There were many battles during the war in Zimbabwe (then known as Rhodesia) where the ill-equipped Zanla and Zipra forces were out-gunned and defeated by the Rhodesian army who had the formidable fire-power of the Air Force in support for good measure.
Yet the guerrillas soldiered on. Bombings in Nyadzonia and Zambia refugee camps failed to extinguish the determination of young Zimbabweans to rid themselves of racial discrimination in their own land .
In 1940, the Allied troops suffered many setbacks against the Axis forces that brought them to the brink of complete defeat.
In the battle of Dunkirk, which began on the 10th of May, 1940 and ended on the 4th of June, the British forces would have been handed an irreversible defeat, but for the inexplicable hesitation of the German Army who failed to crush a hapless British contingent that lay prostrate at its complete mercy.
Operation Barbarossa had the German forces advance right up to the outskirts of Moscow, before being repelled by the General Zhukov-led army of the Soviets, culminating in the defeat of the Nazis in 1945. History is replete with many such illustrations of battle defeats that were reversed with forces of good ultimately emerging victorious against better equipped adversaries.
The fight against corruption in Zimbabwe is no different. Those of us who have taken up the fight against this scourge have witnessed the corrupt score victory after victory against the anti-corruption campaign.
We have seen the corrupt score courtroom victories that have been gleefully reported by large sections of the formal press and social media. There are many who are convinced of the invincibility of the corrupt cabal in our midst as a result of battles that the corrupt have won in our courts. These victories are temporary setbacks in the fight against corruption .
Those of us who have answered the call to fight corruption are neither deterred nor deflated.
We know that the corrupt have vast financial resources at their disposal to deploy to their advantage.
The results are there for all to see. We know that the fight will not be easy.
We know that we will be denigrated and denounced for being ineffective and weak. We know that there are some who will seek to weaken our resolve in this fight in order to attain selfish political objectives.
Perhaps most importantly, we know that all these efforts at discouraging the fight against corruption are ultimately doomed to fail.
Yes, the corrupt may appear to be winning. They may even gloat on social media. Fear not, my fellow Zimbabweans.
There is a Shona saying that goes “ pfavira ngoma husiku hurefu”. There is a long war to be fought yet. We will defeat this corruption scourge. Aluta Continua! The Herald
The writer is the Director of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit.