Corruption is rife in Zimbabwe because parliament is too weak to act, the executive is not doing anything about it, while the judiciary is waiting for cases to be brought up so that they can make decisions.
This was said by Buhera Central Member of Parliament Ronald Muderedzwa in his contribution to the debate on good corporate governance in which most members called for an oversight role by parliament.
Muderedzwa said in most countries, there was a balance of power between the three arms of government: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. This was not the case in Zimbabwe.
“Mr. Speaker Sir, why is it that corruption continues unabated? Corruption is found in the corridors of power but I would like to say our Government has got three pillars, the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. I think for us to curb corruption, there should be a balance of power and even in the past, I have noted that that balance of power is not there.
“If you look at the Westminster type, in the United Kingdom, in the British Government, there is really a balance of power. Parliament is strong, the Executive is strong and the Judiciary is strong. Mr. Speaker, in our situation, this Parliament is weak – very, very weak.” he said, adding that this was deliberate.
Muderedzwa said there was need to empower parliament to force the executive to take action against corruption, if it did not then parliament would take action itself.
MR. MUDEREDZWA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir, for giving me this opportunity to make a contribution on this very important motion. Let me thank Hon. Madzimure and Hon. Chikwinya for moving this motion in this august House. Mr. Speaker Sir, I would also want to thank all the hon. members who made contributions to this very important debate.
Mr. Speaker Sir, corruption is a topical issue, it did not start yesterday, but a long time ago. All what we are witnessing now are symptoms of what happened in the past. I want to say the problems we are dealing with here; I think they originated also during the Inclusive Government and even backwards. There has not been a spirit to fight corruption in earnest.
Corruption as denounced by Comrade Julius Mwalimu Nyerere, he said; power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely – [MR CHAMISA: It was Carrington] – He further said immorality is immorality and corruption is immoral. Cde Samora Machel during his time also said corruption is a chronic disease in Africa. His Excellency President Mugabe has denounced corruption over the years and even in his speech, he denounced corruption in this House.
Mr. Speaker Sir, why is it that corruption continues unabated? Corruption is found in the corridors of power but I would like to say our Government has got three pillars, the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. I think for us to curb corruption, there should be a balance of power and even in the past, I have noted that that balance of power is not there.
If you look at the Westminster type, in the United Kingdom, in the British Government, there is really a balance of power. Parliament is strong, the Executive is strong and the Judiciary is strong. Mr. Speaker, in our situation, this Parliament is weak – very, very weak – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear] – it is weak because it is poorly funded so that it becomes weak.
This weakening of this Parliament is deliberate and we strongly appeal to Government to ensure that the balance of power really prevails. Hon. members who have debated in this House were proffering solutions to curb corruption. The press did a very good job and we would want to see it exposing corruption. As representatives of the people, let us turn ourselves into private investigators; we need to expose corruption. Wherever we are, if we get information on corruption, let us bring this to the House so that we are in a position to debate and do something about it.
In parastatals Mr. Speaker Sir, the executives are very powerful. Whatever is happening in the parastatals does not come into the public domain because they are powerful. I will say, as Parliament with the support from the Upper House, let us ensure that we support the recommendation that has been raised to say, let us come up with a Committee that is going to go wherever we suspect that there is corruption, to investigate and expose what is happening.
Mr. Speaker, that information, if it happens to go to the Executive, we would like to see the Executive doing something about it. If the Executive does not do something about it, then we are in a position to make pointers to say things are not going in the right direction. If we do not do something about it, we are quite aware that the Judiciary is waiting for people to be brought to them so that they can make a decision. Right now the ball is on the court room of Parliament and the Executive.
We need to ensure that the boards that are going to be reconstituted – that type of work is not done by one person. I share the views of Hon. Mliswa to say there should be a balancing act in picking up these boards of directors. If we allow one person to choose members of the boards then our problem is that those people are going to report to that Minister, whatever we would like to know, we will not know.
I am proposing that the way forward is that we should stand independent, and we should go into the public and private sector by way of an investigative look into the areas that we have noted and investigated. We come back to this august House with our report so that we direct our energies towards the debate that is going to continue between ourselves and the executives. I share these views Mr. Speaker Sir. I just wanted to add my voice and say, this House is unanimous in supporting the mover of the motion and we would like to see sanity obtain in our country. I thank you.