Zimbabweans should untiringly fight corruption as it is currently deep-seated in most State institutions such as the police, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Judiciary, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Speaking in a special Independence Day interview with ZBC at State House, President Mnangagwa said the various hurdles in successfully uprooting the scourge mean “the fight is so wide and deep”.
“I now realise that corruption is deep-rooted. I thought that by pronouncing that let’s fight corruption those who are corrupt will fear and stop; it’s not like that. It’s so rooted that you have to fight it from A to Z. (In) most systems, structures and institutions, there is an element of corruption,” said President Mnangagwa.
“To fight it, you need the police to unearth, investigate; but also within the police, there is corruption. The next stage, you need prosecution; that is the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) – they need to prosecute the cases, so once the cases pass the corruption in the police, it has to pass the corruption in the NPA, then it must go to the courts and there is an element of corruption in the courts, so the fight is so wide and deep.”
Fighting corruption, he said, was a collective responsibility. The President also said his office would not interfere with judiciary processes.
“However, I am happy that you find people who support the fight against corruption in all these institutions. In the police, not everybody is corrupt; in prosecution institutions, not everybody is corrupt; in the judiciary, not everybody is corrupt. So because of that we are gaining traction slowly, not as speedily as I had expected. As you realise, there are so many cases of corruption now in the courts,” he added. President Mnangagwa expressed frustration at the snails’ pace of some of the cases before the courts. A clean society, he added, would help the country to “develop faster” and lead to satisfactory service delivery. Current and former Harare City Council officials who abused the $144 million loan facility are likely to face the music, said the President.
“We had a loan extended to Harare City Council by the Chinese for sanitation and water reticulation. That money was then used to buy cars and other luxuries. It didn’t address the issues for which the money had been given. So when I met my brother and colleague President Xi Jinping (Chinese President) and discussed about this loan, I wasn’t aware that had happened and so I said, ‘Mr President, the loan was fully disbursed’, and he said, ‘my brother, the money was not used for what we had given you for.’ I was not aware people bought cars, some having workshops which had nothing to do with sanitation. Those who spent the money are not in office anymore, but they are likely to be followed.” President Mnangagwa has committed to fight corruption by strengthening and restructuring key institutions such as the NPA, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zaac) and the Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President and Cabinet.