It is interesting to note that the media has portrayed the perception that ZANU PF is sensing victory in the forthcoming elections. This of course is judging by comments made by high profile members of government, including the President himself. The President is quoted as having said, “This is a chance we have been given by God. Corruption is the order of the day in the MDC and they have not looked at the people’s needs. They are fleecing people of their hard-earned cash and sticking their hands into people’s resources.” The President was referring to corruption that is being leveled against the MDC-T led councils. MDC Councilors have been accused of all sorts of pocket lining activities, such as hefty sitting allowances, allocating themselves residential and business stands, hefty salaries for council employees while service delivery has deteriorated. Rate-payers feel short-changed and this puts the MDC in the limelight in urban constituencies. The running of urban councils has put MDC-T on the spot with the voters, many of whom are not amused. Does this then give ZANU PF an advantage to regain the lost seats in urban areas? And does corruption present a “God given chance” to “bury” the MDC-T in the forthcoming election? Given that the corruption trump card delivered power to the Mwa iKibaki regime; defeating Daniel Arap-Moi in Kenya, will the alleged corruption of MDC-T led councils lead to ZANU PF regaining power?
ZANU PF believes so, and recent poll surveys suggested an increase in ratings for ZANU PF and a decline in the support that the MDC-T used to enjoy. Yes, corruption is a cancer in Zimbabwe and could present a public relations nightmare for the MDC-T. What is striking about the President’s remarks is his qualifying statement where he said, “…if we are to be defeated by them in the next election then nesuwo tinenge takaora (we will be a rotten party)”.
This statement is interesting given that high level corruption is not being perpetrated by the MDC-T Councilors alone. Both parties “akaora” (are rotten). No-one has cared to explain the mystery of the big monies from diamond mining and how the country is benefiting from it. One can only make speculative assumptions that the Hollywood-style mansions being built in the Shawasha Hills are part of the proceeds from diamond mining. No-one has cared to explain how looting in the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is affecting the majority of farmers, where subsidized inputs are being looted by chefs, and these are not MDC-T chefs. And does anyone care to explain the invasion of the Save Conservancy by the big names in the political circles. The MDC-T may claim that they at least took action by dismissing the Councilors, but in its lifespan, the Anti-Corruption Commission has not done anything meaningful to demonstrate that they are not a waste of tax payers’ money. No high profile arrest has yet been made, except the supposed persecution of Minister Mangoma from MDC-T.
The long and short of it is that corruption is rampant both within ZANU PF and the MDCs. As a trump-card, other issues may have to come to the fore. And what could these issues be? Land again? Indigenisation? Mining Rights? How about reforms for a change?