Tapiwa Kapurura: Thank you, Al Jazeera, Zimbabwe is in the News!
With the published Al-Jazeera investigations on corruption and money laundering by Zimbabwean government leaders, it never rains but pours for the innocent Zimbabwe citizens. The corruption index continues to maintain a bold and exponential rise.
The government remains fully aware of corruption but is comfortable with the miasma. That’s the direct result of an absence of the rule of law in Zimbabwe. The courts are heavily compromised, and the justice system is now broken as the laws are left only on paper for memories.
Corruption is openly incubated by the government, and no one is held accountable. Those spearheading the corruption are the supposed guardians of the system who must implement laws to stop the rot. Unfortunately, they are busy writing notes on how to fleece the country and bring it down.
When gold rusts, no one knows what iron will do. As compared to other nations where scandalous leaders appear before parliament or offer to resign as they take responsibility and face consequences, in Zimbabwe, the government leaders laugh it off and look the other way when such news hit their morning briefing sessions or the media.
There is no accountability, let alone a fear of consequence because the system is now gauzy to the core. Due to lack of leadership skills or experience, sound education or ethics, the top government leaders now behave like they are in a Banana Republic.
That has seen the education system in Zimbabwe being debased to confuse the youth to doubt education and kill their critical thinking skills for ease of governance. No wonder why recreational drug cases are on the rise in the troubled nation where police must dutifully look the other way as concerned citizens point to known drug houses.
Even the opposition in Zimbabwe has confused a thousand by assuming a neutral stance where they must stay quiet, sound aloof and avoid making comments on public scandals as they opt to stay in their lane.
Meanwhile the public burns with anger and outrage because the millions of dollars leaving Zimbabwe could create industries, buy food or hospital meds and equipment to save lives in Zimbabwe.
After Mugabe was deposed by the 2017 coup, President Mnangagwa got into office and promised to nab all public fraudsters and corrupt big wigs within the first 100 days into office.
Many got excited as they were fed up with a useless Robert Mugabe who was very corrupt and spent most of his time globe-trotting for tourism as the nation was falling apart. Known for his good English, super oratory skills, candor, suits, and tea, (for naïve personal ego and attempts to act European) Mugabe did not do much to improve an already polished economy that he inherited at its peak. He was set on auto cruise as he settled in.
A decade later, it became clear that some stuff was easier said than done. Mugabe was weak and clueless on economic (let alone public) policy and went on to destroy most of the stuff. His misguided indigenization program set fire to the economy and that was the end of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean infrastructure and economy started crumbling and only the flag was left to remind the nation that we were an independent nation.
Mnangagwa then entered the scene with a promise for better alternatives. Many believed him at first. Little did they know that he was equally clueless and greedy. He set up ZACC to handle corruption issues and he invested heavily in it.
Interestingly, alongside the ZACC project would be the “catch and release” scheme where criminals facing corruption allegations were set free by the courts on “lack of evidence” considerations.
With telephone justice and endless browbeating of the prosecution teams, there would be a lot of interference with the criminal justice system to make the whole anti-corruption project a circus. Even judicial officers and prosecutors would be faced with hardships to explain the shift of goal posts as they at times struggled to release criminals caught red-handed.
Finally, the corruption investigations on Zimbabwe money laundering and gold smuggling got exposed by the Al Jazeera channel on March 23rd, 2023. Most participants were angry and felt taken for granted by the government of Zimbabwe leaders.
Leadership wore music headphones to dance as poverty bit the ordinary man. While they sang the “satanic sanctions must go” song to divert public attention from the brewing corruption vice, many citizens started opening their eyes.
Even the Pfumvudza project was a scam. People were told to work hard and be resilient to endure poverty and hunger while the top government leaders were busy looting and siphoning humongous national assets and resources.
The poverty levels in Zimbabwe struck alarming levels. The government seemed unmoved through its business-as-usual stance. It was interesting to check who would believe a government encouraging people to be strong when national wealth was leaving the country at the speed of light.
Every public scandal in Zimbabwe had a blessing from the top. Criminal courts had no say. People ended up confused.
Nothing was working in a Zimbabwe that created millions of economic refugees for the SADC region, Europe, and America. Bordering countries like Zambia had their hospital beds filled up by Zimbabweans looking for medical care.
And here was a Zimbabwe government leadership doing corrupt works and siphoning resources as the nation was starving and desperate for good hospitals and infrastructure.
What a sad day for Zimbabwe to be in such a pickle because of a leadership curse that saw no urgency in repairing a country that was fast falling apart as resources were flown to foreign nations for hoarding.
It was such a satire that the resources of Zimbabwe fell in the hands of 1% as the 99% were supposed to cheer for the success of a greedy and insatiable 1% on a path to create generational wealth. I wished greed had limits.
In Zimbabwe, there were no ethics and no consequence. The situation was chaotic. I wished those caught in corruption scandals could be indicted as economic saboteurs.
Unfortunately, the Zimbabwe situation had become so deplorable and shameless that the leadership became boldly brazen and daring. I am not sure what crime Zimbabweans committed to deserve such leadership on a scorch earth policy to destroy their own country using corruption and greed.
Tapiwa Kapurura writes in his personal capacity. You can follow him on Twitter: @TKalerts