President Robert Mugabe was yesterday criticised for failing to address the issue of massive corruption in his government, when he officially opened Parliament last week.
Contributing to debate on a motion in reply to the Presidential Speech, which was introduced in National Assembly by Goromonzi West MP Biata Nyamupinga (Zanu PF), Kuwadzana East MP, Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) said Mugabe was not serious about addressing corruption.
“It is clear corruption has become the stem of this government. When Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo mentions Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), it seems corruption has become the stem of this government,” Chamisa said.
“In his speech, I thought the President would have mentioned corruption, because he is the one who blew the issue about the missing $15 billion diamond revenue, but we have not seen him taking any action to deal with corrupt individuals.”
He said the only positive thing about Mugabe’s speech to Parliament was that the 92-year-old leader did not blame sanctions for the economic quagmire the country was in.
“We have vampire instincts in government with people, who continue to suck blood out of our country, yet nothing is done to them,” Chamisa said.
“Corruption has become the religion and part of the fabric of our lives such that wherever we go
— the police, churches, the government and everywhere — there is corruption, which has affected the stem of this country.”
The MDC-T vice-president said it was shocking that the top brass implicated in corruption were never brought to book.
“We have never seen the big fish getting arrested, if anything, our jails are full of small fish — the kapenta. In our tradition, we say a fish rots from the head, and as MPs, we need to ensure we stand up for good governance and arrest those that raid national coffers,” he said.
Chamisa also took a swipe at Mugabe’s continued stay in power, saying in African culture it was taboo to overwork an elderly person.
Chamisa said the only job that Mugabe created was at Air Zimbabwe, where his son-in-law, Simba Chikore, was recently appointed chief operating officer.
“Prior to the 2013 elections, Zanu PF promised 2,2 million jobs, but only one job has been created at Air Zimbabwe. I and worried about the abuse of our President because in our tradition a young person cannot sit while an elderly person is ploughing. Mugabe is our elder and we need to give him a chance to go to rest. He fought in the liberation war and we must ensure that he now rests so that young people work,” he said.
However, Shamva South MP, Joseph Mapiki (Zanu PF) differed with Chamisa, saying the essential requirement for one to be President was wisdom, not age.
While introducing her motion, Nyamupinga said the Prisons Bill that Mugabe said would be crafted in Parliament must deal with issues affecting female prisoners and babies imprisoned with their mothers.
“The Prisons Bill must consider the welfare of female prisoners. They must get sanitary wear. Female prisoners must not be put in leg irons and they must be allowed to visit their homes often to see their children,” she said.
Corruption has become stem of Zimbabwe
Author: Veneranda Langa
Source: News Day