THE endemic and endless corruption in Zimbabwe has seen public confidence in political and public institutions eroded to an all time low. The silence from those responsible is deafening and the magnitude of the scourge is strikingly sinister.
Corruption among public officials in the country is a direct result of the existence of a highly protected and perpetual class of career politicians who carry on without due care or attention as they take cover under the shadowy cushion of a culture of impunity for individual and collective indiscretions. It is a problem that stems from the fact that citizens are in fact detached from the political process and, because of this disconnect, the despondent electorate has allowed itself to be taken for granted by an increasingly crooked and underhanded system.
Politics is not a profession but a public duty and with this duty comes responsibilities and an interim opportunity to serve those who put their trust in the officials they voted into positions of public officials. Professor Jonathan Moyo represents that sanely sole voice that has renewed many people’s faith and optimism in the political process in Zimbabwe with his persistency, consistency and transparency in laying bare corrupt practices in the country. The system of impunity needs a complete overhaul and the lone voice of Professor Moyo needs echoes from foremost places.
It is the simple things that matter to people and it is the simplest of gestures that endears elected officials to the electorate. All public officials must give precedence to an unswerving commitment to fighting corruption, corruption-free practices and making things simple for the country’s long suffering citizens. There must be a commitment and a bona fide will to rooting out corruption, and that is the only starting point. Tackling corruption is critical to the country’s economic transformation. Corruption is one of the most significant obstacles to economic development in many developing countries and Zimbabwe is no exception.
What is worrying is the fact that corrupt practices have now been accepted as a cultural norm and the cushy embrace of impunity has allowed this immoral practice to be craftily etched into the national fabric as a permanent patch. Professor Moyo’s unrelenting efforts need more voices rather than the questionable quietude and the occasional incoherent rumblings of implicated senior officials that has prevailed since the salary scandals and the daily dishonorable revelations of corruption. It is particularly dangerous when corruption turns into the accepted way of life and citizens dejectedly adapt to and learn to coexist alongside this distasteful degeneracy. Corruption has snugly and permanently embedded itself into the nucleus and entire fabric of the Zimbabwe society simply because there are more chances of being attacked by a great white shark in the Mukuvisi River than being punished for corrupt practices in the country.Advertisement
The government needs to fund those organs that were founded to tackle corruption and make them fully independent. All corruption fighting institutions are already compromised by virtue of being headed and manned by man. The fact of the matter is that every man is corruptible. The only way to tackle corruption is to address morality and changing attitudes of the public and authorities alike.
It is imperative that these corruption-fighting institutions are headed and manned by individuals of integrity and their autonomy needs to be protected and preserved. Public services need adequate funding to strengthen institutions and foster accountability. Dealing with corruption requires effective institutions and crucially an unswerving committal from the pinnacles of political power of any nation.
Professor Moyo has placed emphasis on keeping the public informed and changing attitudes that consider personal loyalties more important than formal rules and public duties. He has instilled a practical commitment to national trajectory, exposing and dealing with corruption. The key to challenging corruption is a willingness to do the dirty work and come out with your hands clean and sharing the responsibility with all stakeholders. The problem with corruption and letting corrupt practices go unpunished and without reproach is that it erodes the trust people have in those in power and drains the much-needed resources to revive the struggling Zimbabwean economy.
Leadership requires both reflective and affective emotional intelligence and Professor Moyo possesses those in abundance. People are rational but then rationality is a matter of choice and the alternatives which society and nature offers individuals. Society is governed by a code of ethics and morals and every man and woman lives by these standards. All people are equally governed by the same code of ethics that define each and every society. Each and every individual is responsible for his or her actions and answerable to their respective societies.
Trying to justify corruption and corrupt practices is morally repugnant and an insult to the law abiding citizens of Zimbabwe. Professor Moyo has shown mettle in the corruption fight and he has the mental stamina to see this through. But it is not his battle alone but a national one. As the Zimbabwe opposition continue to descend into chaotic confusion and finally laying itself to rest, Zanu-pf is playing the role of both the ruling party and opposition. The fight against corruption is right here right now. Elected officials owe it to the present and future generations to rid the country of corruption.
Bernard Bwoni can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org/ bernardbwoni.blogspot.com