The late decorated freedom fighter Josiah Magama Tongogara must be turning in his grave.
As Zimbabweans voted yesterday, his daughter Sukai was in hiding, unable to freely take part in the process to either endorse or reject a draft constitution that will pave way for fresh elections.
With the police from the Law and Order section hunting for her, the general manager in charge of investigations at the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) was in hiding.
Her crime was daring to investigate suspected underhand dealings at the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, National Indigenisation and Empowerment Board and Zinara.
Carrying the Zacc mandate, she sought a High Court order to investigate these institutions and the line ministers. That move, which was a noble thing to do, triggered a backlash from politicians bent on stopping the commission from unearthing corruption at public institutions.
Police swooped on Zacc offices and Home Affairs co-minister Kembo Mohadi recalled Ngonidzashe Gumbo, the Chief Executive Officer, from the commission.
These events of the past week culminating in Zacc officials going into hiding show that Zimbabwe is still far from the society that Tongogara sacrificed his life for.
If Tongogara were alive today, he would have been proud of his daughter and her colleagues’ efforts to rid Zimbabwe of corruption. He would have been disappointed by those seeking to stop Zacc from investigating the corrupt members of the society.
But the reality is that Zimbabwe remains an unjust and corrupt society where those who loot public coffers get protection from the police.
President Robert Mugabe himself is aware that some members of his inner circle are corrupt to the core.
At one time he threatened to fire corrupt ministers, some of whom allegedly asked for bribes of up to US$10 million from potential foreign investors. Mugabe’s threat to weed out corruption will remain empty as long as those crusading against corruption are treated like criminals, and those who loot public resources are protected.
We challenge Mugabe to stop the onslaught against Sukai and her colleagues and allow the body to investigate all cases of graft regardless of the positions of the suspects.
Quote of the week
In Mbare, if you don’t vote, you will be beaten. Since the leaders are telling us to vote ‘Yes’, that is what I am going to do.” —A self-employed man in Mbare, Harare