Zimbabwe’s image has plummeted as it economies woes worsened. The country is increasingly being viewed as corrupt as its economy deteriorates and nationals flee the country to look for greener pastures.
Sitting at a comfortable 43 out of 85 when it was first included in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index in 1998, the country now sits at 106 out of 133 countries surveyed.
Last year it was at number 71 out of 102 countries having been stagnant at 65 for two years.
Initially one of the most promising countries, despite the corruption of the 1980 which saw Sampson Paweni siphon a staggering $5 million from the government when the Zimbabwe dollar was still stronger than the greenback, and the exposure of the Willowgate scandal which saw five government ministers lose their jobs, Zimbabwe’s fortunes have tumbled since it embarked on the fast track resettlement programme which business does not appreciate.
The government’s “grabbing” of white owned farms to resettle landless blacks is viewed more as a breakdown of the rule of law and lack of respect for property rights, something business values a lot.
The negative perception has cost the country tourists who used to flock to the country earning the country valuable foreign currency to enable it to import fuel and power, both of which are currently in short supply.
The economy has also been in decline over the past three years. Inflation has rocketed from 18 percent in 1997 to the present 456 percent.
Corruption seems to have become a way of life as those who have been arrested have either had the charges withdrawn or were acquitted over technicalities.
It has become so embedded in Zimbabwean societies that some people think it promotes development because those accused of being corrupt end up opening businesses and employing people.
Jobs, any jobs, are most welcome as unemployment is reported to be around 80 percent.