Friday, 27 April 2018


By Nick Mangwana
POLITICAL CORRUPTION is the use of powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain.

In Zimbabwe whenever you hear someone being charged with an abuse of
office, they are actually being charged with political corruption.  It means they have used their political office for private gain. Some of the people involved in political corruption went into positions of authority as good persons but the temptation of filthy lucre was too alluring to resist.

Of course some got into these offices without anybody knowing that this is who these people are. Some rose to higher places and ended up surrounding the President. We ended up with Operation Restore Legacy.
That ushered in a New Dispensation. But we have a problem. A really big problem. More criminals have come in their dozens.  They want to enter Parliament.  Some even want to be Ministers.  Those who want to be lawmakers are targeting the very foundation of our democracy. How can we have laws made by criminals?

It is high time we stop just looking at someone’s political history, party position and age as the only criteria under which we choose our MPs. Politics is now much more about branding than before.  What branding
are we projecting as a party when we allow these dodgy characters to front our party as prospective legislators? We should never allow our party to be captured by criminals.

Imagine some of these shady individuals fleece the public. Some drain people’s savings. Some are land barons who are quite unscrupulous. But because they are loaded with their ill-gotten wealth they buy their way into offices.  The genuine grafters cannot compete with them because they
are outspent. So obviously they will win. But at what cost to the party and country?

We now need a fit and proper test for these individuals.  For those coming from the Diaspora we should ask for police clearance as part of their transfer documents.  Anyone who has lived out of the country for a certain period in the last 20 years should produce one.  For those based in Zimbabwe we need finger prints and checks. Proper reports should be presented as part of the vetting process. Because surely what would happen if we end up with people convicted of fraud being on some committee dealing with our transparency issues?

Wouldn’t that capture our institutions until our country turns into one of those others we laugh at? Even criminal records are just not enough.  This issue needs to be explored much more. The face of our party should change. But it can only be changed by the people that we make represent both party and national interests.

At the very least each and every aspiring candidate must fill a proper questionnaire.  If later it comes out that they lied on the questionnaire they should be disqualified. We want to know who is vying to represent us.

This is not going to be a popular proposal but we are tired of defending shady people whose names are appearing on our rolls.  Zanu PF should not be a hub where criminals find a hiding place. We are done. Originally published in the People's Voice


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