Generation 40 in trouble as Zim army wades into corruption fight

Charles Mabhena

The Zimbabwe National Army, which is said to be pro-Mnangagwa (team Lacoste) has finally spoken on corruption allegations levelled against senior government officials (G40), equating the menace to ‘a direct’ national security threat as may stir citizen unrest and turmoil against the state for failing to nip the cancer from the bud.

Speaking before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Security in Harare yesterday, Chief of Staff Administration Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba said corruption is retrogressive and causing security threat as civilians may gang up into mafias if a senior official is implicated in corruption while other bigger names try to shield him or her against being arrested.

This seems to be a direct reference to the recent incident in which President Robert Mugabe and his deputy, Phelekezela Mphoko, used their seniority powers in government to protect Jonathan Moyo from arrest. Moyo is Minister of Higher Education who is facing abuse of state funds allegations.

Nyikayaramba said the citizenry expect corrupt officials to be brought to book, failure of which will render them ungovernable thereby creating problems for the defence forces. “If ordinary people see that nothing is being done to corrupt senior officials that will lead to disgruntlement and eventually instability,” he said.

He added that the army’s allocation in the national budget is far less from what it requires, and as such should be spent on critical issues of security, and that high officials should not try to unnecessarily provoke public trouble by being corrupt.

He also rebuked Kasukuwere for tax evasion and being selfish, though he did not mention him by name, but instead gave reference to the 50 bed roomed mansion that Saviour is alleged to have built. “They find it easy to splash ill-gotten money on buildings with 50 or so bed rooms instead of using it productively by establishing companies and benefit others through employment creation,” Gen Nyikayaramba said.

In September this year, while officiating at the Zimbabwe Anti-Bribery, Anti-Corruption and Risk Management Conference in Harare Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa expressed grave concern about senior government officials misusing public funds to furnish their poshy lifestyle appetites, and urged the state to come hard on corrupt individuals.

The call by Maj Gen Nyikayaramba comes after senior officials, Jonathan Moyo and Kasukuwere, in the forefront, have been implicated in having had misappropriated state funds. The two have also been fingered as the godfathers of the G40 faction. Corruption in Zimbabwe has since reached alarming levels across the divide.

As if a war of factions, VP Mnangagwa, on the other hand enjoys close links with the military and had close working relations with them in the past, through various ministerial portfolios that dealt with security which he held for several years, like Minister of State Security, and Minister of Defence. The army itself on several occasions is alleged to have claimed allegiance to Mnangagwa, saying they can easily identify with him because of his war credentials.