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Mnangagwa Fails The Test On Chivayo

When political leaders are compromised, they lack the moral authority to do so.



When individuals with high-level political connections to those in power, President Emmerson Mnangagwa in this case, escape accountability for their corrupt activities, then it creates a culture of impunity.

The current case of dodgy local businessman Wicknell Chivayo and Mnangagwa’s deathly silent reaction applies. It is a clear example of how crony capitalism – the nexus between politics and business – has destroyed Zimbabwe.

Despite being accused of corruption involving a multi-million-dollar Zimbabwe Electoral Commission tender, Chivayo, who claims he has a firm grip on Mnangagwa, is still walking the streets while openly enjoying proceeds of his corrupt deal.

This leads to erosion of trust in public institutions, leadership, and the rule of law.

Where some people are held accountable, but others are protected, it creates an Animal Farm or Orwellian situation.

Critically, this encourages corruption, criminality and impunity, which are damaging to the fabric of society, the economy and investment.

When brazen corruption goes unpunished, it emboldens other potential criminals to engage in similar behaviour knowing only too well their political cronies will protect them.

Compromised political leaders are not able to effectively fight corruption.

When political leaders are compromised, they lack the moral authority to do so.

They are also vulnerable to blackmail or manipulation.

Further, they prioritise personal interests over the public good, which makes them a threat to society and national interest.

In fact, compromised leaders undermine efforts to address corruption, fueling impunity and weakening institutions.

To effectively combat venality and corruption, leaders must demonstrate integrity and transparency.

They need strong political will and independence from corrupt influences and to stay away from dodgy individuals.

They also need accountability to the people and commitment to justice and the rule of law.

Only then can they seriously and credibly address the problem of corruption.

Impunity weakens democratic norms and institutions, as well as economic development. So it is essential to ensure that the rule of law applies equally to all, regardless of connections or status.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is conspicuous by silence on the case now after its chairperson Michael Reza enthusiastically claimed recently that he was itching to deal Chivayo and his business partners Mike Chimombe and Moses Mpofu over the corrupt deal.

It is almost certain Reza has now been politically blocked. Reza and his colleagues must explain why Chivayo is still not held accountable when facts show he was one of the corrupt deal kingpins.

Not only Chivayo, but also all those who were involved in the elections tender scandal.

They are well-known and the evidence is compelling. If the anti-corruption body cannot investigate such open and brazen corruption, what is its purpose then?

At this rate, the anti-corruption commission will become part of the problem, not the solution.

Independent investigations, transparent decision-making, and accountability can help address these concerns.

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