By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vow to fight corruption has hit turbulent waters, with corrupt official across the government standing in the way, it has emerged.
In his inaugural speech in November 2017, following the removal of former President Robert Mugabe by a military coup, Mnangagwa pledged to fight the cancer of corruption. The new Zanu PF leader again campaigned on a pledge to deal with corrupt officials but over a year since his rise to power, little has moved.
Mnangagwa told State television, in an interview to mark 39 years of Independence, that he had been shocked by the extent of corruption in government.
“I now realise that corruption is deep rooted. I thought by making a pronouncement that let us fight corruption it will go away. No. Its not like that.
“Most institutions have an element of corruption,” said Mnangagwa.
The President, said institutions involved in the anti-corruption fight are also rotten to the core.
“To fight corruption, you need the police to investigate but there are elements of corruption in the police. Once you get past the corruption in the police, the National Prosecution Authority has to prosecute but there are also elements of corruption in the NPA.
“Then the case must go to court and there are also elements that are corruption in the judiciary. So the fight is so wide and deep,” said the Zanu PF leader.
Mnangagwa said he was however, pleased that there are people in government institutions willing to fight graft. The President did not hide his exasperation at the continued frustration, the fight against corruption is facing across government institutions.
“However, I am happy that you find people willing to fight corruption in these institutions. In the judiciary, NPA and police, not everybody is corrupt and because of this we are slowly gaining traction but not at the speed we would have wanted.
“You realise there are many cases of corruption in the courts. Some are proceeding well but others are so slow its difficult to explain. I am a lawyer by profession and I am not happy with some of the things that are happening. It’s a complex issue but I must allow judicial processes to take place without interference,” he said.
Said Mnangagwa: “We must all commit ourselves, all institutions not the President alone (to the fight against corruption). Its not the duty of one person. The benefits of a clean society will go to everybody. In fact we will develop faster (without corruption). More service delivery will go to our people.”
The President said he had been ashamed, to learn from Chinese leader Xi Jinping, that the Harare City Council had abused a loan extended by the Asian country meant for water reticulation.
In his quest to fight the scourge, Mnangagwa has established a special anti-corruption unit in his office and dissolved the disgraced Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. However, critics argue that the judiciary remains the last frontier for corruption with growing calls for a commission of inquiry into the arm of government charged with implementing the law.