Corruption: La cosa nostra

19 Jun, 2016 - 00:06 0 Views
Corruption: La cosa nostra

The Sunday Mail

Clemence Machadu Insight Howdy folks!
I wish there was a sexy way of expressing this, but unfortunately there isn’t — corruption is now part of our new culture. The best way to describe corruption in Zimbabwe is a popular Italian mafia saying — la cosa nostra — which literally means “this thing of ours”. Zimbabwe is among the 20 poorest nations in the world, with more than 70 percent of its populace regarded as poor.

Corruption has affected our slackening revenue collections. Zimbabwe Revenue Authority board chairperson, Mrs Willia Bonyongwe is on record saying, “Eliminating corruption could easily increase revenues threefold.”

If that were to be the case, then our National Budget could have been around US$12 billion. Then we could have fully bankrolled Zim-Asset within three years. But thanks to corruption, here we are.

Our skeletal National Budget cannot bankroll much capital expenditure works after feeding its bones to employment obligations. Here, we can clearly see that corruption is part of the reasons why our economic growth is going down.

No soft landing in sight.

A documentary by The School of Life says if Zimbabwe continues with its current growth trends, it will only qualify as a rich country with a GDP of US$100 000 after 2 722 years!

Till thy kingdom come!

Corruption is murdering our quality of life.

We are not living the lives that we are supposed to. The citizens of Zimbabwe are the richest in the world, going by the natural resources per capita index. Yet, those resources are being corruptly siphoned out of the country to make the already rich become richer while we get poorer.

If corruption leaves the generality of citizens poorer to the extent that they can no longer afford medical care, with some dying resultantly, then they would have been transitively killed by corruption.

Or take the case of someone leading a medical aid society unsustainably remunerating themselves with hundreds of thousands of dollars every month, to the end that the contributors end up failing to access healthcare conveniently.

So corruption is definitely murder, first degree! I hear Zimra’s officers manning our ports of entry now wear T-shirts that are written, “I am not corrupt”.
Good initiative.

However, this cowboy would have been happier if their hearts were also to be inscribed with that very important message. Otherwise some of them might simply be foxes in sheep skins.

To demonstrate how corruption is now deeply entrenched in our mental faculties, I remember a high school student who was interviewed by a local paper on what she wants to be when she grows up.

To my surprise, she didn’t want to be a medical doctor, or engineer or pilot or some fancy job you could think of. The young girl said she wanted to be a traffic police officer! One would think that she picked that job because she wants to fight crime or make the Republic a better place.

Not so.
She simply told the paper that she wanted to be a traffic cop because some of those cops have made a lot of money on the roads, apparently from bribes they solicit from motorists.

Perhaps she sees some cops being bribed in broad daylight by kombi drivers, with nobody giving a damn about it. This is just how bad the situation has become. Even our children now think that corruption is cool. What are we teaching our children to be when they become leaders one day?

Fathers, as you celebrate Fathers’ Day today and cherish the contributions you make to the family unit, do you also realise the magnitude of corruption in your children, or it is perhaps part of the heritage in your wills? As long as corruption is this ubiquitous, we cannot expect to progress as a nation.

We are robbing the future generations.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa is right. In his recent speech he said, “It is high time we walk the talk on corruption and ensure that those found on the wrong side of the law are ruthlessly punished, irrespective of their positions or standing.”

No sacred cows!

We need to weed out corruption, especially from our public institutions. So far, we have been witnessing stinking corruption from each and every parastatal which has been subject to the spotlight.

Remember when Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the tendering system in Zimbabwe is the capital city of corruption? We also don’t forget the audit reports that (Comptroller and Auditor-General) Amai Chiri has been announcing about our public institutions.

Zimbabwe needs strong and accountable institutions that meaningfully contribute to economic growth. We should urgently change the way we look at this.

Later folks!

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