A STUBBORN fact that many Zimbabweans conveniently forget when we reflect on corruption in our country is that President Mugabe and his administration have no history of sacrificing loyal or useful lieutenants for corruption.
In shame, Morris Nyagumbo carelessly took his own life in the late 80s following the Willowgate Scandal which the Sandura Commission competently exposed. Nyagumbo was not sacrificed. In fact, his partner in crime, Fredrick Shava was promoted.
In a tiny and struggling economy where USD15 billion vanishes into thin air, the president appears on national television admitting it and yet nobody is arraigned before the courts for that great disappearance or theft – why then should anybody expect to see Jonathan Moyo done for a mere USD400k? This is mere pocket money in ZANU PF lingo though it takes a decent professional in the developed world 25 years to pay off a mortgage of the same value.
I am one of those Zimbabweans opposed to the re-introduction of the Zimbabwe currency in any name, shape or form for as long as we do not have sound economic fundamentals to support it. However, there are times when I tend to think that Zimbabweans deserve the Bond Note. They are one of a few nations on earth that have become used to abusing the Greenback to an extent where they almost reduced it to an ordinary currency.
When a government minister sues his colleague for more than USD10 million in a very minor defamation case, then you know we are not talking about the same American dollar as we know it. In courts, ordinary citizens are charged as much as USD500 in bail for very minor offences like pointing a finger at or uttering “derogatory” words in front of the presidential portrait! But I digress.
Not long before he was kicked out of ZANU PF, former Energy Minister, Dzikamai Mavhaire, was taken to task for allegedly diverting USD40k to mai Mujuru’s political activities while she was still the vice president. True to tradition, the matter died a natural death along the way. It may only be revived when it suits the emperor, usually close to elections in order to keep the monkey busy.
The First Lady was implicated in the VIP Housing Scheme when she built a mansion in Chivhu which later became nothing but a white elephant. What happened to her? Nothing. Her brother, Reward Marufu looted the War Victims Compensation Fund with impunity. His “punishment” was a diplomatic post to Canada.Advertisement
Sydney Gata presided over ZESA’s collapse. He was Mugabe’s brother-in-law. PTC, GMB, NRZ, ZISCO and many other organisations suffered the same fate. At independence, donors funded the demobilisation exercise on which millions were spent. There is no doubt that most of the aid ended up in private pockets. One needs to be extremely naïve or gullible to believe that President Mugabe was not aware of all this rot. Tacitly if not actively, he supports this institutionalised madness.
Jonathan Moyo did not need much effort to convince the emperor that he was innocent, by ZANU PF standards. He publicly admitted that he diverted Zimdef funds to ZANU PF activities. It is possible that Moyo proved his case beyond doubt and it would be foolish for Mugabe to sacrifice a foot soldier doing exactly what the party expects – kufamba mugwara remusangano!
This is not surprising. A lot of innocent Zimbabweans have been murdered, maimed, raped, persecuted, or tortured with some losing their homes for opposing ZANU PF. These heinous crimes committed in the name of the so-called revolutionary party are treated as an act of political holiness by the sponsors. If that was not the case, James Mwale who allegedly murdered Talent Mabika and Tendai Chiminya of the MDC in 2008 would have died in prison. His friend, Kizito Chivamba who maimed Patrick Kombayi in a murder attempt, would not be a member of parliament as we speak. But he walked out of prison as quickly as he walked in, courtesy of presidential amnesty! The same applies to another murderer, Biggie Chitoro (maybe rot in hell) who once caused mayhem in Mberengwa and areas around Zvishavane.
Arguably, if anybody wants to put Jonathan Moyo on the cross for diverting “peanuts” in the form of USD400k to ZANU PF, then those who caused the disappearance of USD15 billion must be hanged and cremated. I am sure that the culprits are known to ZANU PF.
The simple reason why culprits remain untouched is that the chief superintendent, the senior prosecutor, the judge president and the jury, President Mugabe, has no history of punishing those loyal to him and his family for corruption. They can only be touched if they become a threat to his grip on power. And you hear people saying Zimbabwe is a democracy, what rubbish!
Given ZANU PF’s long record of corruption, Jonathan Moyo’s case is nothing but a tiny drop in a calamitous and ferocious sea of corruption. The magnitude of Zimbabwe’s corruption cases will only be known when we have a democratic government in place.
If we do not get rid of these perennial and shameless thugs in 2018 or before, we will become an interesting political case study of a very promising nation that succumbed to one old man. A very senior South African diplomat once asked “What’s wrong with you Zimbabweans? You have built every road and every building in South Africa and yet you can’t get rid of Mugabe. Why do you think South Africa should do that for you?”
As Zimbabweans, we have a chance to do it ourselves if we make the right choices now as we prepare for 2018. Some of those choices, complementary to a vicious fight for democratic reforms, are formation of a genuine and effective coalition as well as a vigorous voter registration campaign.
Moses Chamboko is a pro-democracy activist and interim secretary general of ZUNDE