Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Corruption the cancer in our government

By Sindile Ncube

Corruption has been a cancer which has eaten its way to the heart of Zimbabwe’s social, economic and political landscape for the past thirty years.

Zimbabwes Health Minister, Obadiah Moyo, centre, makes a court appearance accompanied by plain clothes policeman, at the magistrates courts in Harare, Saturday June 20, 2020. Moyo is facing allegations of illegally awarding a multi- million dollar contract for COVID-19 testing kits, drugs and personal protective equipment to a shadowy company. The scandal comes as health professionals including nurses and doctors in Zimbabwe are on strike demanding to be paid their salaries in U.S. dollars.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Zimbabwes Health Minister, Obadiah Moyo, centre, makes a court appearance accompanied by plain clothes policeman, at the magistrates courts in Harare, Saturday June 20, 2020. Moyo is facing allegations of illegally awarding a multi- million dollar contract for COVID-19 testing kits, drugs and personal protective equipment to a shadowy company. The scandal comes as health professionals including nurses and doctors in Zimbabwe are on strike demanding to be paid their salaries in U.S. dollars.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

It was prevalent in late president Robert Mugabe’s era and considered to be one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Little however has changed in the Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa having been heralded as the bearer of change and a break away from the old authoritarian rule and economic mismanagement, immediately upon inauguration declared an open war on corruption stating “acts of corruption must stop forthwith, every case of corruption must be investigated and punished in accordance with the dictates of our law”.

After two years in power, to what extent has Mnangagwa managed to curb corruption? In short, its bleak. The recent arrest of the Health and Childcare Minister Obadiah Moyo, for alleged corruption related to the procurement of Covid-19 test kits and medical equipment makes the point.

This form of corruption has negatively impacted attempts to combat the coronavirus pandemic, endangering the lives of our health care workers who had to fight the virus with little to no PPE. Mr. Moyo was granted bail and is set to appear before the court again on the 31st of July.

Mr. Moyo became the second minister to be arrested on charges of corruption in Mnangagwa’s government, after the arrest of the former minister of tourism Prisca Mupfumira on corruption involving $95 million from the state pension fund NSSA.

Both ministers have proven to be part of a dysfunctional ruling elite where corruption is institutionalized. We have power-hungry leaders who are willing to serve self over masses.

Until actual arrests have been made and justice served, the President’s fight against corruption is just but a lip service which is not backed up with action.

Sandra Bvungidzire a political activist in the diaspora recently said; “the recent admission by President Mnangagwa of corruption within the top levels of government point to a deep rooted problem within our government and shows how corruption is embedded in Zanu PF’s DNA, the only way to deal with such a system is to cut the head off the snake.”

Till the government takes a radical step towards the fight against corruption by not sparing the rod to all political heavy weights who engage in the abuse of office, our country will remain in a free fall path towards destruction.

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