A country can never develop when there is corruption because it destroys the very core of development which is the work ethic, a former Deputy Finance Minister said.
David Chapfika, the Member of Parliament for Mutoko South, said the number one enemy to any developing country is lack of transparency, discipline and corruption.
“I experienced it while I was in the banking sector during the hyper inflation period. People would burn money. There were two parallel exchange rates, the official and the unofficial. People who had the privilege of getting foreign currency, the dealers bought houses.
“One would leave university today and in a week’s time he has got 10 houses in the low density areas. What message does that give to someone who has been working in a similar institution for the past 40 years? It is a disincentive.”
Chapfika said corruption promoted inequality and the haves ended up building durawalls – security walls- to protect their property and themselves from the poor.
“Wherever you see a ‘durawall,’ you will know that there is an economic disparity in that country, the ‘haves’ and the ‘do not haves.’ There are no ‘durawalls’ in America, Canada, Japan and in Europe, they are only found in the Southern hemisphere.
“Wherever you see a ‘durawall’, it is a sign of poverty. There would be extremely poor people who are a threat to what you will be having,” Chapfika said
He said there was therefore need to develop work ethics and reach a point where there are no ‘durawalls.’
“We must strive to ensure that when university students graduate from the University of Zimbabwe, they are assured of employment. That is all they need. During our days, you leave university, you get a job and you are offered a hire purchase for furniture, car and so on. You will be comfortable. That is all they need at that age, a small little car that should be our focus.
“We are focusing on me and my children, not knowing that I cannot create a white elephant in an environment of poverty as it would be attacked one day by the poor. What I am saying is a reality. This has been the challenge in the third world. That is why we have coups and people fighting each other and again that is why we have had so many changes in the developed world.”
MR. CHAPFIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise to add my voice or to echo sentiments of hon. members who have contributed before on this very important topic. I do so Mr. Speaker, with a very heavy heart. It is unfortunate that we have to debate issues of corruption in a country that was born of a bitter liberation war, where we had serious discrimination, where we suffered and were disenfranchised in many ways.
We fought and lost over 50 000 people in pursuit of where we are today, in this Chamber and of liberating ourselves. When we demanded liberation and democracy, the intention was to improve the lives of the generality of the people of Zimbabwe. All the fallen heroes, I am sure they are turning in their graves, those who have died in Tembwe, Nyadzonya, Chimoio, Zambia, Botswana and elsewhere. They should be turning in their graves that, what has become of mother Zimbabwe, so my heart bleeds.
Mr. Speaker we are a developing country with serious challenges at hand or before us. The number one enemy to any developing nation is lack of transparency, discipline and corruption. Where there is inconsistence and corruption, you can never expect that country to develop. It will not happen because what corruption does is to destroy the very core of development which is work ethic.
The Asian tigers that we talk of today, with Shaira looming to take over USA within the next few years; their economy or their development was born out of total sacrifice and commitment to duty, with complete and absolute work ethic. Where there is corruption Mr. Speaker, alas to work ethic, alas to discipline, you never find it, people will never ever be committed to working.
I experienced it while I was in the banking sector during the hyper inflation period. People would burn money. There were two parallel exchange rates, the official and the unofficial. People who had the privilege of getting foreign currency, the dealers bought houses. One would leave university today and in a week’s time he has got 10 houses in the low density areas. What message does that give to someone who has been working in a similar institution for the past 40 years? It is a disincentive.
You will observe that it is happening in all sectors. This is where the totality of our institutions is rotten. You will go to the passport office, you are deliberately delayed, you go to the highway and some policemen will identify some fictitious challenges like your vehicle is like this or that so that they try to induce some payment. These things are happening Mr. Speaker.
I salute Cde. Chihuri, he has done a lot and has added his voice in as far as the police force is concerned. You can see significant changes in the Police Force. He has stood firm against corruption. We would like similar statements coming from other institutions of Government, even in the private sector because it takes two to tango. People believe that corruption is only in the public sector, no, it is even worse in the private sector.
The reason is that they are using private capital, but the private capital is being transferred out of this country, which is a number one enemy. This is why this Chamber enacted a law on indigenisation so that we control the means of production for this country. More resources are retained in Zimbabwe for the benefit of the people of this country. However, in a corrupt environment, deals are given to foreigners without the knowledge that the money that would be paid will be transferred off-shore. That is corruption because there is no transparency.
Mr. Speaker Sir, we need to lead by example from the highest office to the lowest manager. It is what we practice that our followers would do. If I am compromised as a manager or a Member of Parliament, I will not be able to question the person behind me if he also engages in corrupt activities. I would like to urge hon. members to lead by example and to ensure and believe that we need to leave a legacy for our children and not just for ourselves.
There are some people who live for today, they do not think about generations to come, there are selfish individuals and many of them are amongst us in this country – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – Mr. Speaker sir, we have to shun such practices.
It would be unfair for me not to comment about the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) elections and any other similar scenarios. I would like to believe that during the elections, due consideration was taken before the current Chairman was elected. According to the press Mr. Speaker, I would have thought that corporate governance within the ZIFA hierarchy could have taken a course of action to delay the elections until issues at hand have been dealt with. What image does it give to Zimbabwe, our institutions, the world or those people who are behind us? People who look upon us to make decisions – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] –
The media, Anti-Corruption organisations, the President and everyone is saying pasi necorruption and someone who has been reported to have been earning the highest monthly salary – whether right or wrong, I do not know, maybe it was correct but the issue is subject to debate in this country. The elections could have been delayed or somebody could have been barred until the issues are looked at.
Mr. Speaker Sir, in the interest of transparency, my appeal is that anybody who is implicated in any criminal activity must not be allowed to participate in a public office until he is duly cleared – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – that is how corporate governance works or it would compromise the entire infrastructure of corporate governance and our messages and calls for anti-corruption. Mr. Speaker, I call upon the powers that be to revisit that and look at it in a more competent manner and in tally with the interests of the people of Zimbabwe.
Mr. Speaker Sir, earlier on I said that corruption breeds laziness, and corruption breeds corruption. I explained to the effect that where the headmaster is corrupt, he will not be able to counsel the teacher whom he presides over. I appeal to the leadership structure at any level to desist from corrupt activities so that you are able to deal decisively and effectively with your followers. That is very important and critical.
Mr. Speaker Sir, patronised appointments or allocation of tenders have been a major challenge to the entire developing world. If you want to be a developed country, you have to do things differently. There has to be a paradigm shift in the way we do business unless if you are not serious about being a developed country.
Mr. Speaker Sir, a ‘durawall’ (precast concrete wall) is a symbol of economic disparities. Wherever you see a ‘durawall,’ you will know that there is an economic disparity in that country, the ‘haves’ and the ‘do not haves.’ There are no ‘durawalls’ in America, Canada, Japan and in Europe, they are only found in the Southern hemisphere. Wherever you see a ‘durawall’, it is a sign of poverty. There would be extremely poor people who are a threat to what you will be having. In America, you just leave your car keys in the car and your door unlocked. There are no ‘durawalls.’ Have we ever asked ourselves why it is like that?
We need to develop work ethics and reach to a point where there are no ‘durawalls.’ We must strive to ensure that when university students graduate from the University of Zimbabwe, they are assured of employment. That is all they need. During our days, you leave university, you get a job and you are offered a hire purchase for furniture, car and so on. You will be comfortable. That is all they need at that age, a small little car that should be our focus – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – We are focusing on me and my children, not knowing that I cannot create a white elephant in an environment of poverty as it would be attacked one day by the poor – [AN HON. MEMBER: Exactly vanopinda!] – What I am saying is a reality. This has been the challenge in the third world. That is why we have coups and people fighting each other and again that is why we have had so many changes in the developed world.
If you are a Member of Parliament, you will last. It becomes a profession. People do not even bother about who the Member of Parliament is, they will say who is the Member of Parliament; let us just vote him in because things are working. As Members of Parliament, we must begin to add our voice, we must begin to be respected; and we must begin to demand respect. We are protected by the Constitution of Zimbabwe and there are these three pillars of Government – the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive. These are equally important institutions of the State and there is need for each arm to respect the other for peace to prevail amongst the three institutions.
We have heard about cases where Member of Parliament have gone without vehicles. There are Members of Parliament in this Chamber who come to Parliament in a kombi – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – yet when a Minister, okay because of the nature of his job, he must get those allocations. When he is appointed a Minister, you will find him with two or three cars, a security guard, an aide and whatever parked outside to take him home. We do not challenge the security guard aspect, it is okay – [ HON. MEMBERS Hear, hear ] – We are saying Members of Parliament, the other arm of Government, at least the requirements for those people, it only costs US$50 000.00 to buy a twin cab –[ HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- and it is not for free.
It is a loan Mr. Speaker; it is a loan for just one vehicle. For a Member of Parliament elected by a constituent to represent the wishes of the people is disabled to a point where he or she is either incapacitated to go to the constituency or might never even go there. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear]- Therefore, you will see a turnover of Members of Parliament. – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – You say this and the next thing, there is no capacity in Parliament. You do that, that is number one corruption. It is either at the institute of Government, there are no resources – [AN HON. MEMBER: For all of us]–
We have been fighting the British since time immemorial, but what cars are we driving – British cars, why? Why are we buying British cars – empowering the British State? Mr. Speaker, we are undermining ourselves and as Parliament we need to add our voice. We have to add our voice because we represent the people and this is what the people are saying. I am speaking for the voiceless. They are saying this and it does not help. When I speak here, I do not speak for MDC; I speak for the ruling party ZANU PF. To me MDC is no longer an issue because they are just back benchers; they are just observers at the moment and they are not in Government – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – So, we need Mr. Speaker Sir – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order!
MR. CHAPFIKA: What I mean Mr. Speaker Sir, is that as ZANU PF, we have an obligation as a ruling party to protect the interests of the people of Zimbabwe. So, Mr. Speaker, what can Parliament do to correct this? It is not enough to just come here and debate these issues on corruption. What is more important is to proffer solutions to say, what should we do as Parliament? I think the number one issue is to strengthen the institutions of governance. Parliament has that role; we have got Parliamentary Portfolio Committees that we can use to strengthen the institutions of governance.
MR. S. MADZORE: On a point of order. I take great exception Mr. Speaker to an hon. member who has just uttered that Members of the MDC are observers to this august House, especially when we are currently debating the motion on fighting corruption as a unity, Mr. Speaker Sir. I propose that the member withdraws such a very dangerous and reckless statement. I thank you, Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Point taken, Hon. Chapfika.
MR. CHAPFIKA: I withdraw but what I meant Mr. Speaker …
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. Oh! it is that one,I thought because I heard hon… – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] – Hon. member, please take ownership of your statement – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections] –
MR. S. MADZORE: The hon. member is behaving in a completely unhonourable manner.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. May you please give him a chance to withdraw? May the hon. member withdraw his statement if he said so? May you withdraw?
MR. CHAPFIKA: I withdraw Sir.
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Thank you.
MR. CHAPFIKA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I was saying as the Chamber, it is not sufficient to debate on these issues. We need to proffer solutions and use our mandate to strengthen the common governance institutions. We need to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Act. When we do deliberations in my Committee, when we were debating on the Bill to do with eeh! I cannot remember the Bill but it was one of the Bills and one of the hon. members in the Committee who is a lawyer says, ‘Then in terms of the Companies Act, we cannot change this’. I said no, that is the role of Parliament to change, to suite our circumstances because we are in a very difficult situation. So, we must have institutions and statutes consistent with our environment and circumstances. We have to accept that we are a developing country and we need to have discipline.
Therefore, I urge Committees of Parliament that provide oversight to various institutions of Government or ministries, to critically look at the Statutes and Acts which govern your activities to ensure that they are consistent to the challenges before us and present the motions to have them changed by this Chamber or engage the ministries to sponsor amendments to those Acts. There is nothing wrong or amiss with that, it is quite in order and that is why other countries have done it. That is how other countries have developed because they have put institutions that provide for proper governance, monitoring and surveillance, checks and balances. If we do not have that, Mr. Speaker, we are in big trouble. I thank you.