Condemnation of corruption has to be one of Matabeleland’s central objectives if we are to see real progress. Corruption undermines all systems and processes; it compromises confidence in the functioning of any society and Matabeleland is no exception. It is a scourge that is fast turning out to be the biggest betrayal of our nation.
Matabeleland leadership and the public have increasingly become willing participants in the championing of Zimbabwean institutionalized corruption within our territory. We cannot afford to be apologetic to corruption and using euphemisms just to protect some strategic partnership with corrupt individuals and institutions. Embracing Zimbabwean corruption because one believes it is already out of control is an ignorant mentality that undermines our experience in the present day Zimbabwean state. Matabeleland has no control over ethnic Shona biased Zimbabwean socioeconomic and political institutions so participating in their corruption only empowers Mashonaland over Matabeleland.
Corruption compromises development and empowerment; empowerment will continue to elude us as long as we continue to accommodate corruption within our systems and processes. The same corruption that gives false empowerment today will account for real collapse the next day. As well as being a priceless act of defending Matabeleland, fighting corruption is the highest form of patriotism.
In the fight against corruption, Matabeleland citizens need not look up to politicians but take it upon themselves to collectively fight this rapidly growing evil. The end can no longer justify the means; paying bribes to public officials for the ‘right’ to dodge decent public laws is a regrettable route choice. We need to challenge the corruption curse in all its forms or we are doomed as a society and so will be the next generation that stands to inherit a collapsing Matabeleland.
The primary task should be the transformation of our socio-political space from one otherwise indifferent to scrutiny to one that actively provides a safe platform for debates. We need too to move away from a delusion of ethnic superiority and start objectively critiquing internal weaknesses that have allowed the region to embrace and not challenge overtly corrupt activities in public life. If we are to rebuild Matabeleland, we should be prepared to avoid being entrapped in a vicious circle of corruption.
Corruption is now endemic within Zimbabwean systems; we have left ourselves literally enslaved to it. Eliminating corruption remains an unrealistic goal; however, it can be reduced through setting up of structures open to scrutiny and accountability to keep checks and balance in the system. We can ensure the corruption route becomes a difficult choice for all citizens and visitors to the region.