That corruption is endemic and has become the norm across virtually all sectors in Zimbabwe is an undeniable fact, but if dear reader will one day get the chance to converse with a Bulawayo tout who will spend the next six months behind bars for offering a law enforcement officer a bribe for safe passage of his kombi at a roadblock, they are bound to get a contrasting opinion with regards to the magnitude and implications of being corrupt in the landlocked southern African nation.
For the ‘paltry’ US$2 he offered a Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption (Zacc) member masquerading as a traffic officer at a roadblock so that his kombi would pass through a roadblock proxy to McKeurtan Primary School in the country’s second city, Butholezwe Mlilo made a grave mistake that has now costed six months of his life in prison.
A local publication reported that Mlilo fell victim to an anti-corruption blitz that was conducted by the anti-graft body last week.
It is reported that Mlilo was arrested on the spot after he tried to bribe the Zacc officer with US$2 for his unroadworthy commuter omnibus.
His arrest and subsequent conviction comes in the wake of substantially evidenced reports that traffic officers in the country have a penchant of perveting the course of justice by accepting bribes on the country’s roads.
While commenting on the anti-corruption blitz which netted Mlilo, Zacc spokesperson John Makamure said:
“We conduct such operations to deter motorists from bribing police officers. We are serious about eradicating corruption on the country’s roads”.
When he dramatically assumed the presidency on the back of a military coup that toppled the late Robert Mugabe in November 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa reiterated his new Government’s plight to fight the plague of corruption.
“As we focus on recovering our economy, we must shed misbehaviors and acts of indiscipline which have characterized the past. Acts of corruption must stop. Where these occur, swift, swift, swift justice must be served. We have to aspire to be a clean nation, one sworn to high moral standards and deserved rewards. On these ideals, my administration declares full commitment, warning that grief awaits those who depart from the path of virtue and a clean business,” said Mnangagwa, back in 2017.