THE depth of corruption is astonishing that even those that have ranked Zimbabwe highly, regionally and internationally, should be ashamed of themselves for doing a disservice to the people of this great nation.
We report elsewhere in this issue of “corruption” allegations levelled against Mines minister Winston Chitando at Hwange Colliery.
Hitherto, seen as one of a few untainted technocrats in government, Chitando’s alleged shenanigans make disturbing reading.
Indications that Chitando, viewed as “unsoiled” and coming from a key economic sector, has been involved in murky dealings at the State coalminer, must have left a sour taste in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mouth.
We believe this is just symptomatic of what we have become as a people: Rotten from head to toe! While Chitando must be given the benefit of doubt, the fact that he has, for weeks now, declined to comment on these accusations, which have since been brought before Parliament by a forensic auditor, raises many a question.
NewsDay, a few weeks ago, wrote to Chitando asking questions around his association with shadowy dealer Shepherd Tundiya, but the minister chose to remain mum despite initially having requested for questions in writing and promising to respond.
Now, would we be wrong to suspect that his prayer has been for this issue to die a natural death? Unfortunately for him, the chickens have now come home to roost. The genie is out of the bottle and now the question is: What is to be done?
The best Chitando can now do for the sake of our country is to resign before he does more damage to brand Zimbabwe, which is trying to find its rightful place among the family of nations.
The sprucing up of Zimbabwe’s image, battered by years of nepotism, corruption and greed under former President Robert Mugabe’s rule, does not need any further soiling from tainted individuals like Chitando.
Of course, the Mines minister must be given his day in court to answer to the allegations, but away from government.
How does Chitando stand before prospective investors at international fora to proclaim that Zimbabwe has turned the corner and was now vigorously fighting graft?
For Mnangagwa, it should be a very difficult time. He, surely, must be feeling hemmed, but he has to be decisive and let go of Chitando to send a clear message that despite 50 years of serving under Mugabe, he wants a clean administration.
Maybe, we are expecting too much from the man, but all hope is not lost. Maybe he will shame us all!