MDC Corruption - Animal Farm Revisited
Harare, Zimbabwe, 05 January 2010
On March 29 last year, I published a much-discussed article on this blog: "The Corruption of Morgan Tsvangirai".
Of course, there was the usual defence of the MDC by its apologist sheep, who insisted, like ZANU PF sheep used to do back in the 80s, that Morgan Tsvangirai is alright and is simply surrounded by questionable characters. Back in the 80s, almost everybody in Zimbabwe agreed that Robert Mugabe himself was, as a disgraced British business now based in Zimbabwe put it, "incorruptible" but that it was people around and under him who were engaged in corruption and feathering their own nests.
Now it is confirmed that the MDC itself is embarrassed at the scale of the corruption of its own officials. The Chitungwiza City Council mayor has been forced out of his job by the MDC National Office, amid revelations that he and his Councillors from the MDC hoarded stands, demanded kickbacks from desperate home-seekers and generally engaged in greed so widespread that not even the now notoriously corrupt MDC could ignore.
The MDC South African branch has also been forced out for taking cookies out of the jar, siphoning off huge amount of money paid by asylum seekers and supporters of the party in South Africa.
Then there is the issue of the British MDC Branch, where it is said more than fifty thousand British Pound Sterling went missing and is not accounted for. That branch has also been forced out by the MDC.
It all begs the question: what does this say about the judgment of the leadership of the MDC in Zimbabwe that their main branches outside Zimbabwe are involved in corruption to this extent?
It is true that a leader attracts the sort of people who are most like him. The firing or suspension of people in the diaspora from MDC leadership positions in those countries is nothing but a smokescreen. This is because back home, the MDC people within Zimbabwe itself are also engaged in corruption that shames even ZANU PF people. The only reason the MDC people have not stolen to the extent ZANU PF has is because they have been around for a shorter period and have also been denied access to the most lucrative opportunities for looting. Otherwise, MDC is simply ZANU PF-lite.
To show the truth of this matter, one of the people who are said to have presided over the theft of thousands of British pounds in the United Kingdom has been named ambassador by Morgan Tsvangirai. His nomination and appointment came after the allegations were made. He was quickly brought back to Zimbabwe where he was given the plum position (which was confirmed by a mandate signed by Mugabe and published on Christmas Day).
There are people within the National Leadership of the MDC who are also benefiting from corruption. At one time, a wife to one of the senior leaders of the MDC (who is now a minister), was in a foreign country and needed some spending money. She instructed the UK MDC branch to wire transfer 10 000 British pounds to her and they did!! That money has never been accounted for.
This is why leaders of the UK MDC can easily come back home and be made ambassadors: they know what the leaders did. The smaller fish, who took a few pennies for fish and chips from the coffers, are the ones who are now being made public spectacles, while those who stole the big amounts are rewarded!
It is Mugabe all over again, is it not: ministers who emptied the national grain reserves are now back in office. Mugabe has routinely turned a blind eye to the corruption of his people because he knew what he himself was doing, as I exposed in one of the most quoted articles (it even made the Los Angeles Times) from this blog: How Mugabe Amassed A Fortune.
The sad thing is that there are still blind people out there who are willing to follow this bunch of thieves and give the excuse that Mugabe is doing it and therefore, we should not criticise Tsvangirai and the MDC for stealing. It is warped thinking and the same sort of thinking that says it is OK for the MDC to kidnap and torture ZANU PF people (and even its own activists who go against the MDC "black operations") because Mugabe and ZANU PF do the same thing!!
There are also justifications that the MDC "is doing something" about the corruption from these gullible sheep.
Far from it.
The same thing happened in 2007 and the MDC allegedly fired the then executive! Now it happens again? It is like Mugabe making a show of "firing" certain ministers during Willowgate, only to have them brought back in through the back door after the dust had settled.
This is why some of the corrupt elements from MDC-UK are being rewarded with jobs by Tsvangirai now.
Even the Speaker of parliament, an MDC member, has also been implicated in the abuse of funds from the UK, but you will not see him even questioned at all!
I expect every paper that is writing about the corruption within the MDC will now be accused of having been bought by Mugabe. For the MDC sheep (those who follow blindly without questioning), Tsvangirai and the MDC can not do any wrong. If they are caught doing wrong, it must be ZANU PF and the CIO who "infiltrated them"!!
Such people obviously deserve the MDC and Tsvangirai. But they will doom this country to perpetual corruption and poverty. They will elect a long line of Mobutu Sese Sekos and live in poverty for the rest of their lives. Their children and grandchildren will experience the same.
The political culture in this country needs to be changed, and fast. I do not buy the excuse that "all politicians are the same" and we must go with a perceived "lesser evil".
This mentality is seen now in the efforts underway to try and paint Simba Makoni, the only non-corrupt political leader left in Zimbabwe, as also corrupt.
The aim of this propaganda, which is coming only from the MDC, is to disillusion people into thinking that there is no choice but the MDC.
Makoni had plenty of opportunities to steal and be corrupt when he was in government and at Zimpapers. If he had so much as put a foot a wrong back then, that information would have come out during his presidential campaign, but ZANU PF, after robbing one of Makoni's senior people on his way to the airport (it was the CIO who did it) and taking his laptop, managed only to falsely claim the former finance Minister was being funded by "imperialists"!
They still have nothing on him. He has publicly called on those who falsely accuse him of corruption and stealing to press charges (they will be pursued with glee by Mugabe's "justice" system). They do not do this because the object of the false accusation is not genuine, they simply want to sow doubt into people's minds (and sheep are easily led) so that their own corruption and greed is seen as part of a culture in Zimbabwean politics.
I still have a standing bet for US$1 000 for anyone who brings me proof that Makoni ever did anything corrupt!! That money will never be won, of course.