Let us also look at petty corruption and how it affects the poor- MP


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Goromonzi West Member of Parliament Beatrice Nyamupinga has urged fellow legislators not to concentrate on salarygate but also to expose petty corruption because it is killing the poor.

She said women from her constituency were for example asked by municipal police to pay bribes of one dollar to sell their produce on the streets in Harare.

“That one dollar bribe for a woman who is trying to make a living through selling fresh produce is a lot of money,” she said.

Nyamupinga said in rural areas the poor women were being asked to pay bribes to get into the clinic and also to receive treatment.

“When they approach the clinics just to get admitted to deliver babies, they have to pay one dollar to the guard at the gate to be allowed to get inside.

“When she goes in, the nurse says, why did you come this time of the day – come tomorrow. She has to pay something to the nurse so that she is admitted. How do I come back tomorrow when I am ready to deliver? …

“They get there sometimes for other treatment and are told that there are no drugs…The nurse or whoever is manning that clinic wants to be paid kick backs instead of receipting some money or just treating people because they cannot afford to be treated.”

She added: “I thought I should just add my voice that as we look at corruption, let us look broadly at it and see which type of corruption that our electorate or the community where we are coming from will appreciate. If I talk about someone who is earning a salary, a person in my community sometimes will not understand.

“If we talk of these issues that are affecting them, for example, if they come to Mbare Msika with their produce, they will have to pay to enter the market. When they enter the market makoronyera are there waiting to take their things and this is affecting lots of our rural people who are not clever enough.

“They come in the evenings and sleep on the pavement where there is a guard who is asking for one dollar. Why should I pay a dollar to sleep on the pavement – my own blankets, my own chitenje that I am spreading there to sleep and I have to pay someone one dollar.”

 

Full contribution:

 

MRS NYAMUPINGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I also want to add my voice to this motion on corruption but Mr. Speaker, what is worrying me is that we are now losing focus on things that affect people on day to day living. The corruption I want to look at is the corruption that is happening in the streets, where our women are trying to make a living through putting effort, selling their wares and some policemen just come and take their things. We do not know where those things go and they go back home empty handed. To me, that type of corruption actually affects lots of our families in our various communities.

We have got women who are coming to sell their vegetables. Yes, there are no designated places or there are few designated places where they can go and sell their fresh produce. Because of that, they end up selling everywhere, especially during this time of the day where they think people are now going back home and they need to buy fresh produce for their homes, diners and various meals. You find that this is the time where a lot of Municipal police are now manning the streets, just to take the fresh produce from those women or ask for one dollar bribes.

That one dollar bribe for a woman who is trying to make a living through selling fresh produce is a lot of money and she will go back home empty handed. The family at home will not have anything to eat and she will fail to send her children to school yet we are talking of achieving MDGs. How are we going to achieve MDG 1 of eradicating poverty when we are making these women poorer and poorer every day?

If we fail to eradicate poverty, it means we are also going to fail to eradicate issues of child mortality because their children are going to marry early because of poverty. They will produce children when their ages are not yet ready for them to produce. Those children that are produced by minors, usually die within their first year of living. It means we will lag behind in quite a number of MDGs that we are supposed to achieve by 2015.

On the issue of the women who are being admitted in clinics in the villages; I am just coming from my constituency right now where we were having leadership and electorate interface. We decided to use our women’s day to interface with our women in the constituencies. I tell you, if you were sitting there hearing what they were saying, you will be shocked and the whole body would chill. When they approach the clinics just to get admitted to deliver babies, they have to pay one dollar to the guard at the gate to be allowed to get inside.

When she goes in, the nurse says, why did you come this time of the day – come tomorrow. She has to pay something to the nurse so that she is admitted. How do I come back tomorrow when I am ready to deliver? So you find that corruption at that level is just advanced and a lot of our people are being affected.

They get there sometimes for other treatment and are told that there are no drugs, yet they get some kick backs behind. You find that the drugs are in the community through back door but if they go to the clinics, they are told the drugs are not there. The nurse or whoever is manning that clinic wants to be paid kick backs instead of receipting some money or just treating people because they cannot afford to be treated.

That type of problems we are facing through that level of corruption is the corruption that we must deal with. We must deal with it very seriously because it starts affecting the mother and also the children at home. Sometimes, even the elderly people who are looked after by these people are also affected.

I thought I should just add my voice that as we look at corruption, let us look broadly at it and see which type of corruption that our electorate or the community where we are coming from will appreciate. If I talk about someone who is earning a salary, a person in my community sometimes will not understand.

If we talk of these issues that are affecting them, for example, if they come to Mbare Msika with their produce, they will have to pay to enter the market. When they enter the market makoronyera are there waiting to take their things and this is affecting lots of our rural people who are not clever enough. They come in the evenings and sleep on the pavement where there is a guard who is asking for one dollar.

Why should I pay a dollar to sleep on the pavement – my own blankets, my own chitenje that I am spreading there to sleep and I have to pay someone one dollar. I have put my things in the market, I have paid and by the time I enter the market in the morning, I am told my tomatoes are no longer there or the prices are played around with so that when they sell, they do not get profit.

Sometimes we even have these makoronyera driving to their fields and they will tell them in Harare, tomatoes are going for one dollar per box. These people do not know; they will say maybe that is the going price. They will let their fresh produce go for nothing. So, that is the type of corruption I am encouraging my fellow members that, let us look at this type of corruption because it is affecting quite a number of people in the community. I thank you Mr. Speaker.

(31 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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