At its height, the Roman Empire was the greatest human administration the world had ever seen. Roman legislation was so effective that it is still the basis of the legal code of many countries.
Despite Rome’s achievements, however, her legions were unable to conquer one insidious enemy: corruption. Finally, corruption hastened Rome’s downfall.
The apostle Paul was one who suffered under corrupt Roman officials. Felix, the Roman governor who interrogated him, apparently recognized Paul’s innocence. But Felix, one of the most corrupt governors of his day, delayed Paul’s trial, hoping that Paul would give him money to secure his release.—Acts 24:22-26.
Instead of bribing Felix, Paul spoke to him frankly about “righteousness and self-control.” Felix did not change his ways, and Paul remained in prison rather than try to sidestep the legal process with a bribe. He preached a message of truth and honesty, and he lived accordingly.
“We trust we have an honest conscience,” he wrote to Jewish Christians, “as we wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things.”—Hebrews 13:18.
Such a stand was in stark contrast with the morals of the time. Felix’s brother Pallas was one of the richest men of the ancient world, and his wealth—calculated at $45 million—was accumulated almost entirely by bribery and extortion. His fortune, however, pales into insignificance when compared with the billions of dollars some corrupt 20th-century rulers have hidden away in secret bank accounts. Clearly, only the naive would believe that today’s governments have won the war against corruption.
Since corruption has remained entrenched for so long, must we assume that it is just part of human nature? Or can something be done to curb corruption?
On Monday, the Zanu-PF Youth League cited 1 Peter 3:14 at a press conference where they audaciously named individuals, private sector executives and party members it claimed are involved in corrupt activities which are maiming President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s efforts at rebuilding the nation’s economy which is in the doldrums.
Addressing the press at Zanu-PF Headquarters in Harare, the Youth League’s deputy secretary Lewis Matutu said he believes in the bible and that it has always been the revolutionary party’s position to name and shame corrupt individuals and saboteurs.
“I believe in the Bible”, he said, “1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”
The development comes shortly after politburo member gave corrupt party bigwigs a four-day ultimatum to abandon their illicit operations and threatened they will be named and shamed by Monday should they not clear their names. Various reports pointed out that over the weekend Matutu was threatened with death threats by some rogue elements seeking to protect their cartel dealerships.
But, an unwavering youth on Monday afternoon went on and named top officials the league claims are double-dealing.
Among the named were Cabinet minister Prisca Mupfumira who they accuse of corruption during her stint as Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister overseeing NSSA, and National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda who they demanded an explanation on the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) scandal in which funds were allegedly siphoned by the parastatal’s bosses.
Zinara’s abuse of public funds abuse was exposed through Auditor-General Mildred Chiri’s report which revealed that some female managers were awarded a US$60 000 to spend on hairstyles while others enjoyed perks for food hampers and gym allowances.
“We are requesting that the Speaker of Parliament Honourable Mudenda, give us an explanation on the current status of the Zinara issue,” said Matutu.
Matutu also named former Transport Minister Joram Macdonald Gumbo who is linked with Zinara scandals on the damning corruption list.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa’s children, Neville and Elizabeth, were accused of engaging in illegal foreign currency deals along with controversial businessman, Wicknell Chivayo.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya’s name also came up as Matutu said he is a “father who has watched things happen in his house and done nothing”, adding:
“We will assume that he is also involved (in illicit foreign currency deals).”
The youths league also targeted business executives from the private sector.
Libson Mhonda from Afrifore Unifreight was accused of “taking money out and into the country illegally.”
Tafadzwa Musarara of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe was accused of abusing foreign currency allocations from the RBZ, while the Zimbabwe Miners Federation’s Henrietta Rushwaya was accused of leading a “very corrupt organisation that is short-changing small-scale miners.”
Tongai Muzenda of the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) was accused of diamond corruption. He according to Matutu is “selling our diamonds to unaccredited people, devaluing our diamonds. We demand an explanation because those are natural resources for our people,”.
Mathuthu also took aim at a “Dr Shah” of PCD Diagnostics, thought to be the company’s founder Prashant Shah, who was accused of withholding medical supplies and then selling them at a premium after creating an artificial shortage.
Threatening to “move in” unless action is taken, Matutu said next week they will release a list of multiple farm owners and land barons and exposing those who are illegally dealing diamonds.
All the party members fingered in the corruption should do the honourable thing and not report for work tomorrow until they have cleared the allegations made against them, declared the youth league.
“High-ranking officials who work at the party headquarters should stop reporting for duty with immediate effect until they clear their names before the President and the courts. We are going to lock out all the Zanu-PF officials from entering their offices until they have cleared the allegations with immediate effect,” said Cde Matutu.
Youth League political commissar Godfrey Tsenengamu, also named Obert Mpofu, saying he faced “vast allegations” and threatening to lock him out of his party office until he “clears his name,”.
The youths called on the police to investigate the named officials, warning that inaction could mean the police are also colluding in the illicit deals and said they would block all Zanu PF officials who work at the party’s headquarters from reporting for work until they clear their names.
However, the officials denied the allegations and challenged the youths to provide evidence to back up their claims.
“That is nonsense. I don’t do that. I am very busy working for my country and people say things they don’t know. They are misguided,” RBZ governor John Mangudya told NewsDay.
Zimbabwe Mining Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya said she was being smeared because she refused to release mining equipment to Matutu.
“Matutu asked for mining equipment from me on Friday and I asked him to produce a mining certificate and if that makes me a cartel leader, then so be it,” Rushwaya said.
Gumbo said he had nothing to hide and challenged the youths to bring forth evidence that he has been involved in corrupt activities.
Mining Minerals Corporation of Zimbabwe boss Tongai Muzenda, who was also named as one of the diamond cartel leaders, told the Zanu PF youths to stop maligning people without facts.
“Lies have short legs, the sooner Matutu understands that the better for him,” said Muzenda.
In the same vein, Zanu PF secretary for Legal Affairs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana told the Herald that while the leadership wanted a corruption-free environment to turn around the fortunes of the country’s economy, corruption cases had to be proved in court.
Albeit, the Zanu-PF United Kingdom and Europe District Youth League have already thrown its support to the youth league on the recently launched Anti-Corruption Campaign.
“The ZANU-PF Youth League of the United Kingdom and Europe District stands in solidarity with our Executive as led by Cde Pupurai Togarepi and Cde Lewis Matutu together with their entire executive team on the recently launched Anti-Corruption Campaign,” said the chairperson of the UK/Europe District Farai Muvuti in a statement.
Meanwhile, the latest word reaching us is that the Zanu-PF Politburo will convene a meeting tomorrow, while the Central Committee members will meet on Friday in Harare.
In a statement on Tuesday, party spokesperson Cde Simon Khaya Moyo confirmed the meetings.
“The Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Cde Obert Mpofu wishes to advise all members that there shall be a politburo meeting on Wednesday, June 26 2019, at the party headquarters at 10 AM. On Friday, June 28 2019, there shall be a Central Committee meeting to be held at the party headquarters main hall at 10 AM,” said Cde Khaya Moyo.”
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