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MDC should join anti-corruption crusade

I TRUST that the MDC will give its whole-hearted support to President Mugabe’s anti-corruption drive.

The president has made it clear that no one is exempt f

rom investigation.

“We do not look at how big people are or their own pretended status in society, we look at what they are from a moral point of view… Once we discover they are rotten we will pursue them. This is the war now.”

The MDC’s David Coltart struck the right note when he stated that “corruption is endemic within Zanu PF…we remind Zimbabweans of the Willowvale scandal, the War Victims Compensation scandal, the VIP housing scandal, the Harare International Airport scandal, the Noczim scandal and the Boka (United Merchant Bank) scandal which robbed Zimbabweans of billions of dollars and resulted in the enrichment of the Zanu PF elite.” (I would add to this list an investigation of how donor funding has been used (abused) often by those who shout loudest against Western imperialists from whom such funds were acquired).

As Coltart pointed out: “None of the principal beneficiaries of these scandals have ever been arrested, never mind prosecuted.”

Identifying the principal beneficiaries of all the various scandals should not be difficult. As Coltart sensibly suggested: “We believe the country needs legislation similar to the Hong Kong Bribery Ordinance which forces people in public office to explain why it is that their standard of living way exceeds their income.”

Just imagine all of Zimbabwe’s “fat cats” having to explain how they returned to Zimbabwe after independence with little or nothing and ended up multi-billionaires owning many businesses, several farms, driving the latest Mercedes/BMW’s/SUV’s, owning mansions and living ostentatious lifestyles.

To quote Coltart once again: “We have become accustomed to members of parliament, cabinet ministers and soldiers who have become multi-millionaires and now have assets which are far more than the income they have received over the years.” (Not only these categories, Mr Coltart. Don’t forget all those who have never held public office nor been formal members of the political or military elite but have clearly benefited from their Zanu PF connections and their ability to sing loudly and often the song of the sycophant – sometimes even disguised in pseudo-intellectual verbal garbage).

The president needs all the help he can get if his anti-corruption drive is to succeed. (Presumably the president will want to ensure that all those who have transgressed over the past 23 years are investigated).

Let the MDC give its total support to this government initiative to deal with all those who have corruptly acquired wealth. Let them follow the guidelines given by the president and not worry about “how big people are” but rather focus on all those whose assets are clearly at significant variance with their income.

Let the MDC join hands with the president in removing the cancer of corruption from Zimbabwean society. Let them expose publicly all those who have benefited from the various scandals and have never been arrested or prosecuted.

“Publish and be damned” should be their watchword and that of the media if the anti-corruption drive is to succeed. Let no “fat cat” be spared, however “big”.

Who knows, perhaps such cooperation with government will show the president that the MDC really does have the best interests of the country at heart?

What it would do to Zanu PF heavyweights and hangers on – well, that’s another matter.

RES Cook,


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