Dumisani Sibanda Chronicle Correspondent
CORRUPT elements in both the government and private sector should be thrown in jail to arrest the scourge that is stifling development, Zanu-PF Politburo member, Cde Joshua Malinga, has said. He also said there is a need to cultivate a culture of having robust public debates on government policy issues before implementation for the country to fully develop.
In an interview on the sidelines of a meeting with members of the Bulawayo Press Club at a city hotel recently, Cde Malinga said there was no justification for corruption. “No country can develop with corruption,” he said. “People are greedy and people have been allowed to be greedy. I think we should do something. People must go to jail.”
Cde Malinga said corruption has now permeated society and it was worrying that it has not been effectively dealt with in both government and the private sector.
“It’s everybody, a lot of people are involved, government officials and ministers and so on,” he said, adding that businesspeople in the private sector were also involved. “It’s a question of everybody is almost corrupt including Joshua Malinga. It’s like a cancer, once a cancer reaches a certain level, you can’t control it. That’s where we are, cancerous stage,” said Cde Malinga.
President Robert Mugabe has declared zero tolerance on corruption and some measures have been taken to rid parastatals of graft.
In some entities, some executives awarded themselves obscenely high salaries while their organisations were collapsing and the government has moved to stop the rot. Recently, the government instituted an audit into the operations of the State Procurement Board following complaints in the past of alleged maladministration and underhand dealings.
Apart from corruption, Malinga said nepotism, tribalism and lack of public debate and discussion were stifling development in the country. “Public opinion should be heard and allowed to be heard,” said Cde Malinga, who is Zanu-PF’s Secretary for the Disabled and Disadvantaged.
“There is robust debate among us in our party Politburo but I’m saying the public should be involved (in public debate of issues). You can’t come here and say you’re consulting people. Consultation doesn’t mean that you are going to listen. It means you are going to listen and still go ahead and do what you want. I’m thinking of robust public debate,” he said.
The Politburo member said his address at the Bulawayo Press Club was meant to provoke debate on a number of issues as this was healthy for development. In his address, he touched on various issues, including the land reform, the plight of the disabled, education and corruption.