IN the relentless fight against corruption, Government will not be deterred by malcontents, who abuse the name of the First Family to carry out their criminal activities, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
Speaking at a Press briefing in Harare yesterday, Minister Mutsvangwa said there were some people who still lived in a time warp and continue to use tired tactics that resulted in corruption flourishing in the yesteryear.
“As such, on individual cases of corruption, every case will be investigated and punished in accordance with the dictates of our laws without fear or favour,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
The call comes at the back of several malicious reports that have sought to drag the name of the First Family, by alleging that it has a hand in corrupt and criminal activities.
Minister Mutsvangwa said these malicious reports that seek to link President Mnangagwa and his family to corrupt individuals are by no means a coincidence; but rather they are a well-coordinated attack on the system, which is intended to agitate Zimbabweans into demonstrations and uprising.
“Predictions by the country’s detractors to the effect that the economy would implode by year end have been shown to be wishful thinking; on the contrary, the country has achieved macroeconomic stability and tamed inflation much to the disappointment of purveyors of doom,” she said.
The goal of the Second Republic, Minister Mutsvangwa, said is to grow the economy transparently and to foster the spirit of hard work in citizens.
“It is against this background that the Government will never allow its structures to be havens of malcontents and criminals. Nor will Government turn a blind eye to those who seek to escape the wheels of justice through lies that they are connected to the First Family or other senior Government officials.
“His Excellency, the President has been very clear that there are no sacred cows in the fight against corruption and as such law enforcement agents will not be deterred by criminals who want to hoodwink them and the nation that those linked to senior Government officials are exempt from arrest,” the minister said.
From the onset, the Second Republic pronounced that it would prioritise economic growth and development, through a reform agenda that is clearly articulated in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.
“This reform agenda, which is a deliberate shift from the yesteryear way of running Government and the country is stimulating economic growth and stabilising the macroeconomic situation.”
She further said that in his inaugural State of the Nation Address on December 20, 2017, President Mnangagwa categorically stated “Government will have a zero tolerance towards corruption”.
“This is because economic development requires a clean Government. Government has remained consistent in the fight against corruption and this has seen the establishment of a Special Anti-Corruption Unit, anti-corruption courts country wide, and the capacitation of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. Under the New Dispensation, ZACC now has arresting powers and has the financial and human resources to carry out its duties.”
The goal of the Second Republic, Minister Mutsvangwa added, is to build a new Zimbabwe based on the crown values of honesty, transparency, accountability and hard work.
She added that measures continue to be taken to vigorously ensure that any and all criminal activities that prejudice the nation are stamped out.
Minister Mutsvangwa said such measures had resulted in the arrest and prosecution of several senior Government officials, a testimony to President Mnangagwa’s stance that there are no sacred cows in the fight against corruption.
“Prior to the New Dispensation, corruption had spread unchecked, negatively affecting the social and moral fabric of the nation, as rent-seeking behaviours raised the cost of doing business, and posed hardships for the unconnected majority who constitute the generality of the public. This criminality gave rise to persons in the public and private sector accruing wealth corruptly at the expense of the nation at large.”
Further she said bribery, embezzlement of public assets, fraud, smuggling, abuse of office for personal gain, extortion, misrepresentation, and other corrupt activities stall economic development and ultimately rob citizens of decent livelihoods.
As such, she called upon the media fraternity to introspect on their role in nation building and development.
Further to this, she said room must be given for due constitutional processes in criminal investigation, trial and judgment to be done without interference.
“Additionally, I urge each and every one of us to continue supporting the fight against corruption by using several platforms that include the whistle-blowers application to report fraud and corruption. The long arm of the law will catch up with any and all individuals who seek to criminally enrich themselves at the expense of the nation,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.