Looters should FACE the Death Penalty

President Mnangagwa's rhetoric on corruption is not matched by solid action against well known looters
President Mnangagwa's rhetoric on corruption is not matched by solid action against well known looters

The link between power and money is more apparent when state leaders loot their own country. The spectacular excesses of corrupt dictators ruling over their impoverished people has become a recurrent theme in Zimbabwe. The major impediment to Zimbabwe’s economic success is corruption – not sanctions !!!

By Darlington Nyambiya & Kingston Jambawo

On a daily basis, corruption is reported but no action is taken by the authorities for the culprits to face the full wrath of law.

Obnoxious enough in its own right, this conspicuous corrupt consumption is especially offensive when contrasted with the grinding poverty of ordinary Zimbabweans ruled by these unrepentant kleptocrats.

Yet the story of this industrial scale corruption depends on the services of the world’s largest banks. This is because the ill-gotten gains are hosted in the very same countries that are the loudest in preaching the gospel of good governance.

The main reason why corruption and looting of state resources in Zimbabwe has reached alarming levels is because of inaction by the authorities.

In order to disrupt this nexus of money and power, we argue that the nation must challenge Mnangagwa to put in place new rules to combat grand corruption.

We therefore argue that the only way to root out corruption in Zimbabwe is for those found guilty of corruption to face the death penalty.

The fight against this grand corruption or kleptocracy – rule by thieves – is perhaps one of Mnangagwa’s – let sleeping dogs lie – this is because of the starkest contests between power and principles of good governance.

President Mnangagwa needs to take the bull by its horns and send a clear message that corruption will not be tolerated in Zimbabwe.

At the smallest possible scale, hoping that Mnangagwa will fight grand corruption seems to be a total waste of time. This is because it would be a grotesque example of hypocrisy since ED seems to have adopted the attitude of “let sleeping dogs lie” but this is something that we should never accept as a nation.

The media should be obtuse enough to challenge Mnangagwa on this very delicate matter – that way – it will serve to bring the point of grand corruption home and hope that the anti-corruption agenda may move from rhetoric to laws and accountability.

One of the main reasons why corruption is so insidious is that a fair number of senior Government officials that are preaching against it, are themselves corrupt.

On the world stage, Transparency International has led the internationalisation of controlling corruption and that has put diplomatic pressure on Governments around the world to act. And in turn, this explains Mnangagwa’s rhetoric without action on corruption because he has to conform to international pressure by pretending to be doing something about it.

Therefore, as we see in Zimbabwe today, inaction against corruption has led to the multiplication of looters as more people have joined the looting train with the firm believe that the Government of the day has little appetite to take action.

In China, corruption had reached alarming levels, but the deterrent of the death penalty has drastically reduced it. High level corruption cases in China have involved government officials and the Chinese people have shone no tolerance towards corruption.

Grand corruption in a small African state kills the economy – a dead economy brings poverty – poverty kills the ordinary people – therefore a balance between leniency and severity is needed in Zimbabwe. A few executions of those involved in grand corruption will send a message to those in power

We therefore argue that the best deterrent against corruption in Zimbabwe today is for looters to face the death penalty after an impartial judicial process.

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