Corruption Media Monitoring Report

6 August 2016, Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa.

Overview of Reported Corruption and Other Significant Cases (1 to 5 August 2015)

Introduction

Cases of corruption, human rights abuses, mal-administration and bad governance are dominating the Zimbabwean media. A day hardly passes without a couple of reports featuring in the media. This report summarises cases reported from the 1st to the 5th of August 2015.

Concerns were raised against the dishing out of urban residential stands to the ZANU PF youth. This has been perceived as a vote-buying strategy by ZANU PF to lure voters in the 2018 elections. In addition, Gweru residents decried the partisan distribution of farming inputs which is also another way that politicians have been using to buy votes or to thank voters are winning elections. This was raised at the public hearings on the Land Commission Bill. This is not new but it is high time that the Zimbabwean electorate refuses to be bribed.

The media exposed businesses owned and run by some high profile leaders that were operating illegally and this has been the case in a business run by the Minister of Local Government, Saviour Kasukuwere. COMOIL (Pvt) Limited was reported to be selling oil without proper papers. This issue is of great concern considering that the leadership should be exemplary at work, in private and in their personal businesses.

Also making headlines is the abhorrent behaviour of the Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene for defying court orders.

Fraud and money laundering is also on the increase. A Harare businessman (Arthur Chikukwa) was hauled to court facing charges of fraud and money-laundering after he allegedly swindled prospective coal miners of over $2,7 million in a botched mining deal.

Land Officers in the Mashonaland West Province were alleged to be demanding bribes of up to US$7 000 from people in need of land. The allegations came at a public hearing on the Land Commission Bill at Banket Sports Club, which was conducted by the Christopher Chitindi chaired Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands and the Damian Mumvuri led Senate Thematic Committee on Peace and Security.

Effects of Corruption

Corruption, human rights abuses, mal-administration and bad governance have many negative effects. During the reporting period, it became clear that protests calling for Robert Gabriel Mugabe to resign will continue. The #MugabeMustFall campaign was heading to Matabeleland South Province where organisers have threatened a “temporary shutdown” of Beitbridge Border Post. Also increasing and coming out public are the numbers of critics against corruption and misrule. In addition to Mawarire, another disgruntled Harare clergyman, Tapfumanei Zenda, launched a solo protest against President Robert Mugabe’s regime demanding that he quits office. All the protests are led by Zimbabweans and not outsiders as Zimbabwean leaders want to paint. It is the Zimbabweans who are being affected and no one else. Claims to pass the buck are totally unwelcome.[10]

Further to a finding in our previous issue, corruption causes conflicts. Bloody clashes erupted between ruling Zanu PF and opposition Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF) youths at Shackleton Mine. More protests have been predicted.

Zimbabwe continues to be sidelined by other states and this has been re-affirmed by the British Ambassador, speaking at a Southern African Political and Economic Series (Sapes) Trust-organised public meeting.

It is also sad that people speaking out against corruption are often removed from public office instead of the other way around. When Acie Lumumba Mutumanje exposed corruption in the Ministry of Youths, he became unpopular and risked being replaced in the Zimbabwe Youth Council.