Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has threatened
to take corrective action against delinquent senior government officials and
ministers whom he says are in the habit of demanding kickbacks for every
foreign investment deal.
The president’s remarks made in his official opening address
of Zanu PF’s ongoing 13th Annual National People’s Conference confirms the high level of corruption in the
country’s inclusive government.
Mugabe also said rogue ministers made the illicit demands
using his name. He said he had irrefutable evidence proffered by former SA President Thabo Mbeki that South African companies were the biggest
victims of the rogue ministers.
authorities will be moving to curb such rot and act harshly against those
caught on the wrong.”
Mugabe also spoke against the corruption at road
blocks: “You come to a roadblock and
your car has no brakes, the policeman asks for $200 from you and lets you go.”
He pointed out police and Zimra officials as the main
culprits of the graft scourge. Zimra officials were accused by the president of
fleecing ‘poor’ cross border traders who passed through the Beitbridge Border
post and other ports of entry.
“Honest money goes towards the upkeep of the family but that
which is obtained dishonesty is spent recklessly on alcohol and women. We are
all men and I know what my fellow men do!”
The president said the penalty for acting dishonestly will
be drastic and harsh.
Zimbabwe was rated 163 out of 176 countries by Transparency
International’s corruption perception index making it the most corrupt nation
in the SADC region.
Corruption in Zimbabwe remains the country’s major hindrance
to the attainment of an upward and transparent government where some public
figures such as politicians have amassed wealth.
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