IT is wrong for Zimbabweans to associate corruption with politicians as it is perpetrated by thieves with no conscience at all, a minister has said.
Responding to questions during the Zimbabwe Youth Empowerment Strategy (YES) for Investment meeting at the Civic Centre in Masvingo yesterday, the Minister of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Patrick Zhuwao said corruption has been mistakenly taken as a problem perpetrated by politicians only, who use their power to deprive the general populace of opportunities or resources in the country.
“I don’t agree that people involved in corrupt deals should be identified as politicians. These are thieves who might want to hide behind politics. The public will misconstrue the vice as caused by politics. A person will be a thief already before being a politician, so it’s against this background that I disagree with that notion,” said Zhuwao.
He said when corrupt people are in positions of authority, people should not blame those who would have appointed them in the first place as leaders may not be aware of their backgrounds.
“You must not blame the appointing authority when people become corrupt after assuming certain positions as it’s not the authority that’s corrupt but those appointed. I can’t work in retrospect on this issue but would definitely fire anyone who is corrupt on my watch.”
Zhuwao challenged youths in Masvingo to use their human resources to empower themselves economically and stop crying as complaining without action will not help.
Responding to Charles Mnganasa, a university graduate who suggested that the economy was being centralised in Harare, Zhuwao said Masvingo remains a cradle for education, hence the need to transform that rich resource into economic empowerment. “There’s no proof that the economic power is centralised in Harare when Masvingo is already endowed with educated people and the highest number of water bodies. We have the sugar industry from Chiredzi where sugar for the whole country is produced,” he said.