THE rampant corruption, illustrated by mismanagement, misappropriation of funds, wayward financial dealings and selfishness in the corporate world are a pointer towards the further deterioration of the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
It is obvious that the gradual systematic abrogation of the rule of law has opened floodgates to corrupt activities, not only to the corporate sector, but to the broader society. It is government’s desire to apply the law selectively that has motivated leaders in the corporate world to abandon the ethos of good corporate governance and embrace rules of greed and unbridled corruption.
Unfortunately, chaos in all its forms is contagious and as such the anarchy and confusion prevalent among those that govern us has permeated every sector of our society.
Among sectors that have been invaded by this virus is the financial sector which is the dynamo for any modern economy like ours.
The blame for the maladies that have taken root in our financial sector must squarely fall on the government and its host of incompetent, lazy bureaucrats and politicians.
If some measure of corporate discipline had been robustly maintained, the economy would not have suffered the fractures it currently has. During the economic crisis, those in government and the ruling party saw the prevalent corruption but turned their backs because attacking it did not suit them. Those in the forefront of looting and plunder wielded political influence that was deemed pertinent to the war by the ruling party against the opposition MDC and other perceived enemies of the so-called “revolution”. As such, the ruling party could not risk its hegemony by attacking its kith and kin. This was the greatest blunder that government made because proof now abounds that government is a casualty of its own self-protectionist policies.
Ruling party big-wigs like the now heavily bruised James Makamba and Jane Mutasa, to name but a few, have been accused of sending out wealth to far away lands to the detriment of our suffocating economy.
This alleged move to externalise, steered by ruling party bosses, calls into question Zanu PF’s commitment to patriotism. The only logical reason why influential politicians and corporate individuals passionately externalised wealth, it might be argued, was because they had no love for Zimbabwe.
Obviously they foresaw a doomsday for Zimbabwe and hoped to escape to these foreign lands where they would forever after live lives of opulence supported by looted wealth.
Contrary to the common view that the current euphoria and crusade against embezzlement is genuine, it is in fact a facade, a smokescreen to create a false picture of a commitment to corruption-busting. It is taboo anywhere in the civilised world to fight corruption through a Ministry of Anti-corruption. The convenient and most effective tool to harass and apprehend agents of economic debauchery is an independent Anti-corruption Commission.
It defies logic why a cabinet minister must be left to deal with his colleagues. Such an arrangement is a fallacy, a huge joke which no sane Zimbabwean should take seriously.
Dealing with institutionalised corruption needs sober, robust, dedicated, courageous individuals without any political inclinations. Such bold individuals can only operate freely without political intruders if given power by parliament under an independent commission.
The Sandura Commission of the late 1980s is proof of the strength of such a commission. Its unbiased work left many people’s political careers bruised for life.
Three months after the war on corruption was declared, less than half a dozen individuals have been apprehended. These few culprits can not solely be held to have been responsible for our unprecedented economic downslide. A multitude of the real culprits roam freely our streets having already escaped the uncoordinated attempt to net them.
A month after Didymus Mutasa was reanointed as a cabinet minister, we have not heard any strategic plan from him on how he intends to attack the prevalent corruption.
The only utterance he made to an audience of unsophisticated rural peasants was that those who looted must voluntarily surrender their loot!
Zimbabweans want a genuine war, vigorously and mercilessly fought against the corruption epidemic in our country today. Anything less than that will not endear Zanu PF to the people’s favour.
It is futile to fight lawlessness with blatantly unlawful, unconstitutional laws like the recently gazetted anti-corruption regulations. Such rushed, thoughtless legislation only further illustrates government’s lack of respect for the rule of law. Only properly crafted, constitution-friendly laws can find favour with the courts when culprits are arraigned for prosecution. The propensity to emotively deal with institutionalised corruption will frustrate genuine aspirations to chastise the bad in our midst.
By now, we should already have had dozens of anti-corruption seminars involving role players in government, labour, industry and civil society. These should effectively map the way forward. In such relevant discourse, informed strategies between variously constituted arms of government can be mooted. As an illustration, the Companies Act needs urgent amendment to the sections that deal with sanctions on errant directors. Only the fear of severe penalties can instil discipline in would-be errant directors.