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THE scourge of tribalism has to be addressed if the country is to overcome corruption and revive the economy, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko said in Bulawayo yesterday.
VP Mphoko said he agrees with Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa that the country should step up efforts to fight corruption but emphasised the need to instil a spirit of togetherness and shun tribalism, the mother of corruption, among the people of Zimbabwe.
Acting President Mnangagwa last week reiterated the need to promote the constitution in fighting rampant corruption and nepotism in public and private organisations.
Speaking during a handover of 3 000 day old chicks under his poultry project to residents of Mpopoma suburb at Bango shopping centre yesterday, VP Mphoko said: “I agree with Acting President Mnangagwa but I strongly believe that it’s tribalism that we should deal with first. It’s the mother of corruption. It’s a destructive weapon that is used to oppress good governance and promote corruption.
“We’re all Zimbabweans and nobody is better than the other. I despise tribalists. A tribalist is a piece of nothing to me because during the liberation struggle I had people under my command and people died. Among the people who died there were all tribes of people found in Zimbabwe. Let’s address tribalism”.
The Vice President said it was sad that some officials in the Anti-Corruption Commission were corrupt people who did not deserve to be part of that commission.
“There are some officials who ran away from Namibia and South Africa after they committed crimes. They will be arrested if they go back to those countries but they have positions in the Anti-Corruption Commission. Such a commission will never be effective.
“It’s not healthy for the country. It destroys the economy. It’s like a teacher, someone who is trusted by parents, raping school children,” said VP Mphoko.
He took a swipe at some sections of the media for writing negative stories about him adding that he is not a thief, a dealer or a gambler but a straight forward leader and business person.
VP Mphoko said it was important for leaders in the country, senior officials in the Government, parastatals and the private sector to declare their assets for the sake of transparency.
He expressed concern over a shortage of medication and resources in hospitals although patients were paying hospital fees, saying it was due to corruption.
Meanwhile, VP Mphoko visited a number of groups in Nkulumane suburb who benefited from his poultry project that he launched this year.
He said he was impressed by the performance of the projects, which are meant to empower residents and reduce poverty among families.
The project is expected to cover the country’s 10 provinces.