10 March 2014, Harare – The story of corruption has been spoken and written about for a long time now that most Zimbabweans thought that by now some corrupt government officials would be facing the wrath of the law, but unfortunately, that has not happened.
It appears that only the less powerful are being brought to book while notoriously dirty giants masquerade as clean men. Is anyone above the law?
Delays or failure to curb corruption will eventually ruin Zimbabwe. Corruption causes many political, economic, social and environmental challenges.
A few days before World Anti-Corruption Day in December, the department of Islamic Development in Malaysia, Jakim urged Muslims to combat corruption, saying that it could ruin their nation, “the scourge of corruption can destroy good values, justice, oppress people and ruin democracy.”
Well-said Jakim; we must be reminded that corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows down economic development and contributes to governmental instability.
An organ devoted to fighting corruption in Ethiopia; Transparency Ethiopia says that corruption causes many political, economic, social and environmental challenges. “Politically, corruption impedes democracy and the rule of law. Corruption leads public institutions to lose legitimacy when they misuse their power for private interests.”
There are countless, regrettable effects of corruption which affect innocent lives. The Ethiopian organisation against corruption explains that corruption negatively impacts the society; leading to political intolerance, lack of accountability and low levels of democratic culture. “And economically, corruption leads to the depletion of national wealth as diversion and misallocation of national resources, conversion of public wealth to private and personal use rises . . .”
“Large scale corruption therefore severely hurts the economy and impoverishes the entire population. In social sphere, corruption discourages people from working together for the common good.
Frustration and general apathy among the public result in a weak civil society. Demanding and paying bribes becomes the tradition . . .,” says Transparency Ethiopia.
“Closer home, corruption is said to have been one of the critical factors leading to the downfall of past regimes by way of undermining the legitimacy of the governments and weakening their structures, reducing productivity, hindering development, worsening poverty, marginalising the poor, creating social unrest and then to their downfall… ”
Corruption continues to be one of the greatest factors of poverty and internecine conflicts in developing countries. Although Africa is endowed with natural resources, we continue to struggle and scramble for a position in the lower rungs of the United Nations Development index. We keep grappling with the ever-changing trends in global politics, economic and technological advancements due to the debilitating effects of corruption.
One of the greatest impacts of corruption normally rises from the choices and priorities of governments. This happens when real development priorities of a country are often neglected in favour of those that generate biggest personal gains for the decision-makers.
In our case, Zimbabweans are questioning why most of our political leaders become filthy rich when they get into government. What really made our leaders so wealthy, when Zimbabwe was getting so poor? Why is the wealth gap between leaders and the public so big now, if leaders have not been squandering public resources for personal interests?
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) should be capacitated for it to bring all bigwigs implicated in corruption to book. No one must be spared regardless of political or social standing.
– Kimion Tagwireyi, The Standard