Let us talk about reform, fight against corruption!

11 Aug, 2019 - 00:08 0 Views
Let us talk about reform, fight against corruption! President Emmerson Mnangagwa

The Sunday News


Michael Mhlanga

ONE of the difficult things to do these days is to talk with authority on anything to do with reform in Zimbabwe. Somehow Zimbabweans are no longer expected to have any deep understanding of their own situation or even themselves so to say, while other people have become authorities on all aspects of what a new Zimbabwe should mean or to be more accurate on the definition of reform.

If it is not someone with his anti-establishment compositions, it is someone with their condescending and reactionary legal theories. Wait, did I leave out the godfather of compensatory tendencies, I mean the one and only man who when asked to justify most of his claims is rather quick to declare where he has been or which big shot he had dinner with. 

These and other cyber generals with their online crusaders have outgrown their opinions from being but just their opinions; into mistaking themselves as sources of truth on what is good for Zimbabwe. I ask myself why it has not shocked anyone that these so-called voices of the market space have never even once agreed or found value in any policy initiative spirited by the Government of Zimbabwe.

By way of clarification, let me point out that I am not insinuating that the Government is always right and hence its initiatives should always be celebrated, but the point that I am driving home is that it is practically impossible for the Government to be always wrong as how these gatekeepers of change would want us to believe. 

It has become pretty obvious to us that these are crucial years in the history of Zimbabwe. It is a period where we are not only acknowledging our misfortune as a nation but rather a phase where we are actively tackling some of our biggest hurdles to national progress. Beyond the colonial legacy and the international capitalist conspiracy, Zimbabwe has also found itself in the jaws of corruption. Very often the fight against corruption is hijacked by career activists who don’t speak about corruption for the purpose of ending it, but do so in an attempt to scandalise the establishment and or the rejuvenation of their sinking political careers. Fortunately or unfortunately, the waves of reform which have been sweeping down the face of Africa have reached our very borders. There is no more doubt about the inevitability of reform this time around; the only questions now remaining are how and when. 

Actually, the question of “when” can be traced to a certain Zanu-PF rally some time in March 2018 in which thousands of people from across Zimbabwe gathered to listen to President ED Mnangagwa elucidate a much more profound theoretical handle to grapple the question of corruption and the setting of a new trajectory for Zimbabwe’s administrative politics.

In a jovial mood, the first secretary of the ruling Zanu-PF hijacked the podium and professed the usual ruling party rituals. While everyone was still ‘‘engulfed’’ in the ‘‘Kutonga Kwaro’’ beat; ED Mnangagwa ambushed the audience with a rather unusual slogan. To everyone’s surprise, the slogan placed a lot of emphasis to the fight against corruption. As he chanted ‘‘pasi ne-corruption!’’ for the third time, thousands of clenched fists punched the air approving to the said message.

At the core of this slogan was the vision to unravel a future that is neither pro-political party X nor political party Y, but rather a more nationally-based craft to dismantle the jaws of corruption. In more thoughtful terms, this was a rain making ceremony of consolidating all the political will to tackling the question of corruption. Subsequent to that rally, the president slapped Zimbabwe with a shocking list of companies externalising funds.

This led to the emergence of anti-corruption voices throughout society but spearheaded by notable stakeholders namely the Government and or the State which later radicalised its echelons in favour of anti-corruption efforts. It is therefore, in this context that Zimbabwe has seen cases like the Zanu-PF Youth League’s list of suspected corrupt individuals, the  Auditor-General Chiri report and consequently the 28 points of fighting corruption by Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo the Zacc chairperson.

Followed by the groundbreaking Chiri report, it is also clear that the anti-corruption crusade is being appositely accepted even in Government ranks. The democratic space that has been created by the new dispensation has seen even the operationalisation of significant Government institutions like the Auditor-General’s office which was previously incapacitated one way or another. Its ability to craft and deliver such an elaborate report reflects not only the change in the civil service culture, but it also resonates with the President’s call for ethical and corporate governance.

The contents of the Chiri report that is the names and institutions implicated in maladministration; reverberate the new dispensation’s commitment to an accountable and transparent order of governance, it even speaks to the president’s call that ‘‘there won’t be any sacred cows’’ in the fight against corruption. Interestingly, if given a closer look, the events taking place now can either be traced to the campaign message of the president or Zimbabwe’s general legislative framework hence reaching the conclusion that Zimbabwe is defining a new policy attitude.

As if that is not enough, the appointment of a renowned legal expert, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo to steer the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, only attests to the Government’s commitment to the subject of reform. Justice Matanda-Moyo in her 28 points of fighting corruption has demonstrated the judiciary’s seriousness in fighting corruption.

What is striking about these 28 points is that they manage to offer a horizontal cleavage between and within the principles of separation of powers, the newly-found attitude of governance and the need for State arms to remain closely linked to the broader national policy aspirations. The only fundamental left is us acknowledging that change is not an event, instead it is a gradual process with multi-dimensional necessities and performances. Therefore, just like sand in the hour glass, so are the days of corruption.

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