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ED’s anti-graft threats all froth and no beer

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday for the umpteenth time, threatened to deal decisively with Zanu PF fat cats abusing the party name to line up their pockets using State resources. We believe his continued reference to party members as corrupt is a clear admission that corruption has been institutionalised in his administration. It would, therefore, be trite to interpret his statements as just meant to pacify the restive citizenry long starved of real action. Last December, Mnangagwa told the party’s central committee that his administration would deal with corrupt individuals, declaring there were no sacred cows when it comes to dealing with the scourge. Buoyed by the threats, party youths named and shamed top party officials who include administration secretary Obert Mpofu and several businessmen linked to Mnangagwa himself. But instead of probing the claims, Mnangagwa fired the loudmouth youths from the party, and the allegations were never probed while none of the implicated members were summoned by the police for questioning. Then in June, former Health minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested over his involvement in a US$60 million tender scam involving Drax International, a company represented by Delish Nguwaya, a close associate of the First Family. A lot of money was transferred to outside banks and no effort to recover it has been made. Moyo was treated to a red carpet reception when he was brought to court to face corruption charges and the administration made sure he would never spend a night in remand prison. Curiously, the State did not even oppose bail. The way Moyo was treated speaks volumes to Mnangagwa’s sincerity in fighting graft. He is good at rhetoric and no action. A few days ago, Health deputy minister John Mangwiro, a close ally of Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, was implicated in a corruption case, but is yet to be arrested. Instead, top party and government officials have jumped to his defence claiming he was being framed by a rival faction. It would appear Mnangagwa’s threats are all froth and no beer. Mnangagwa wants the whole world to believe that his efforts to turn around the country’s economic fortunes and make Zimbabwe a jewel of the region are being frustrated by sanctions imposed by the West, yet corruption also plays a big part in hindering economic growth. We believe it’s time Mnangagwa stops his rhetoric and confronts the real elephant in the room — corruption.

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