BY BLESSED MHLANGA
THE Zanu PF youth league says it will today release a list of corrupt captains of industry and Zanu PF leaders it says are in bed with cartels involved in economic sabotage.
The youths claim to be in possession of a damaging dossier which could bring things to a head in the ruling party and government.
Politburo member and Zanu PF youth league deputy secretary, Lewis Matutu, who is leading the crusade, told delegates at a youth empowerment programme in Marondera at the weekend that they had been silent hoping action would be taken by responsible authorities, including the
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).
“If we keep quiet, we become accomplices, because when you are in leadership, you have to act to protect the nation and the people and that time has come for us to again step up that fight against corruption,” he said.
Matutu said after naming a number of Zanu PF leaders, and businesspeople last year who included the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya, party secretary for administration Obert Mpofu and other ministers, no action was taken, forcing them to engage in a new name and shame wave to keep the topic alive.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa in June 2019 appointed a Zanu PF commission made up of central committee members to investigate the corruption allegations and submit a report, but more than six months later, no action has been taken.
“The commission appointed by the President has not yet done anything. It has not even met for whatever reason. This is what has forced us to come out, saying it is taking forever to take action while cartels are using those in political power to hide from the long arm of the law. We can’t have that! It’s not the Zimbabwe we envisage,” Matutu said.
He said the youth league would name and confront the corrupt today regardless of the consequences.
“It is our responsibility as young people to end this cancer called corruption. Corruption has taken so many things away from our country. We have been disadvantaged for so many years because we have a few individuals with long (fingers). It is not easy to talk about it, but it’s possible. This Monday, we have a big bombshell. We are going to stand our ground and tell them that enough is enough,” the Zanu PF youth league second-in-command said.
“We can’t allow three or four people to loot everything while we watch, it must end. I don’t care what will happen on Tuesday, even if I am no longer in my position by Tuesday, but you will have heard what I would have said, that’s what is critical.”
Since taking office in 2017, Mnangagwa has insisted that fighting corruption would be his number one priority, but it appears he is losing the battle, as the public and his own party appear to have lost confidence, especially in Zacc.
In its central committee report at the conference held in Goromonzi last year, Zanu PF said the perception that “government lacks commitment to tackle the endemic problem of corruption has been posing a serious threat to party mobilisation efforts”.
Matutu said corruption had become commonplace and a way of life which need radical engagement to eradicate, saying politics must not stand in the way.
“Corruption is everywhere and it’s now a culture that people are now used to, for so many years, but it must end with our generation. How does it end? If you are at an institution, say at school, but you see certain things happening and you can’t even speak out against such things, how do we expect you to be able to speak out against bigger things when you grow up?” he said.
MDC youth assembly leader Obey Sithole, however, dismissed the Zanu PF youth league as attention-seekers without the courage to name the real corrupt people.
“Naming or not naming, it remains fundamentally inconsequential because we have seen this happening before, but no decisive action was taken against the so-called corrupt people. Zanu PF are the authors of corruption and expecting them to genuinely fight corruption is tantamount to expecting to see an igloo in Al-Aziziyah,” Sithole said.
Al-Aziziyah is a town in Libya.
He said nobody in Zanu PF was clean.
“Absolutely, no one in Zanu PF has the moral ground to speak against corruption because it is their unifying lifestyle. I take the said naming and shaming slated for today as a well-orchestrated and desperate attempt by Zanu PF to divert the nation’s focus on real issues bedevilling the nation,” Sithole said.
“We have the topical issues around the increase in tuition fees against the background of low remuneration of civil servants. We have another serious issue of doctors who are still demanding better working conditions. These are the issues that they are afraid of addressing, hence they want to divert our attention for a moment.”