Development Legal and Parliamentary Affiars Politics

Address corruption instead of consolidating political power: ZDI urges government

Bekezela Gumbo

By Michael Mashiri

The Government appears to be concentrating on strengthening its power and fighting political enemies than doing away with political corruption, Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) official has said.

At a press conference held in the Harare yesterday, Mr Bekezela Gumbo, the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute Principal Researcher said, from the research they had conducted, the government looks more interested in securing its political power than solving political corruption.

‘’Findings were that the government seems to be more committed in consolidating power and fighting political rivalry than addressing political corruption,’’ he said.

He also said according to their research, many people are viewing the Mnangagwa era as similar to Mugabe era as they see the institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Commission, the judiciary as institutions controlled by the politically powerful elites.

Gumbo said the findings reveal that this was because there was weak political institutions to commit these mechanisms to action. ‘’Findings also reveal that there is lack of strong political institutions with which to institutionalise anti-corruption mechanisms. Respondents were revealing that institutions such as the judiciary, Anti-Corruption Commission and other institutions were perceived as tools of the rulers so that is the reason why the Mnangagwa dispensation is viewed as a continuation of the Mugabe era by other means as far as political corruption is concerned,’’ he said.

The ZDI Principal Researcher said political corruption was the most problematic than bureaucratic corruption since bureaucratic corruption can be regulated by politicians, but political corruption is the one being done by the politicians which makes it difficult to control.

‘’It is political corruption that matters the most than bureaucratic corruption, because bureaucratic corruption can be controlled by politicians, but political corruption is perpetrated by politicians, so we can hardly get a corruption free Zimbabwe if corruption is not controlled at a political level,’’ he said.

The Institute also aims to promote open, informed and evidence-based debate by bringing together pro-democracy experts to platforms for debate. This is done in endeavours to offer new ideas to policy makers with a view to entrenching democratic practices in Zimbabwe. The organisation was born out of a realisation that there is an absence of credible policy and research analysis by Zimbabwean organisations. It also researches, publishes and conducts conferences in democratisation and good governance.

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende