Army general says cor­rup­tion a ma­jor se­cu­rity threat

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - John Man­zongo

PAY­ING lip ser­vice to fight­ing cor­rup­tion is a se­ri­ous na­tional se­cu­rity threat as it has po­ten­tial to force civil­ians into ri­otous be­hav­iour protest­ing the State’s non ac­tion, a Zim­babwe Na­tional Army general has said.

Giv­ing oral ev­i­dence be­fore the Par­lia­men­tary Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on De­fence and Se­cu­rity in Harare yes­ter­day, Chief of Staff Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Ma­jor General Dou­glas Nyika­yaramba, said the coun­try’s econ­omy was not grow­ing and was bleed­ing be­cause of cor­rup­tion by some se­nior Govern­ment of­fi­cials among other things that went un­abated.

“Cor­rup­tion is a cancer which is tak­ing the na­tion back­ward thereby caus­ing inse­cu­rity to the na­tion. It is now a se­cu­rity threat be­cause it is caus­ing peo­ple to cre­ate mafias or al­liances where if one is ac­cused of be­ing cor­rupt he quickly asks for the help of other big names to pro­tect him or her.

“The or­di­nary cit­i­zens ex­pect au­thor­i­ties to ad­dress these is­sues, but then if they see noth­ing hap­pen­ing to the al­leged crim­i­nals, they will end up be­ing un­govern­able and cre­at­ing prob­lems for the de­fence forces. De­vel­op­ment is be­ing de­railed so that in­di­vid­u­als can ben­e­fit at the ex­pense of the whole na­tion.

“The De­fence bud­get we were al­lo­cated is too pal­try com­pared to what we need and this is mainly be­cause as a na­tion, we con­tinue to ig­nore crit­i­cal is­sues that will bring sta­bil­ity and con­fi­dence to in­vestors who would want to bring their busi­ness to this coun­try,” he said.

Maj Gen Nyika­yaramba said that there should be leg­is­la­tion that pro­hibits in­flu­en­tial peo­ple from own­ing busi­nesses, ad­ding that this was an­other source of cor­rup­tion.

He said it was dis­heart­en­ing that or­di­nary peo­ple who pre­sented busi­ness pro­pos­als and in­vest­ment ideas to politi­cians to help them se­cure fund­ing had their ideas stolen.

Maj Gen Nyika­yaramba said un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances, the Zim­babwe Na­tional Army re­quired $554,56 mil­lion, enough to cater for all lo­gis­ti­cal, ad­min­is­tra­tive and train­ing needs of the army and en­sur­ing that mem­bers were prop­erly catered for.

He said this helped to boost the troops’ morale, ded­i­ca­tion and loy­alty.

How­ever, Maj Gen Nyika­yaramba said the money al­lo­cated to the army was making him have night­mares on how he was go­ing to dis­trib­ute it among all the army needs, which ranged from food, med­i­cal, equip­ment pro­cure­ment and train­ing.

Mean­while, Maj Gen Nyika­yaramba said the law must take its course on cor­rupt big­wigs be­cause if left unat­tended, or­di­nary cit­i­zens would feel let down by the au­thor­i­ties.

“Don’t look at the face of in­di­vid­u­als or their po­si­tions when deal­ing with cor­rup­tion be­cause that will lead to dis­as­ter. If or­di­nary peo­ple see that noth­ing is be­ing done to cor­rupt in­di­vid­u­als, that will lead to dis­gruntle­ment and even­tu­ally in­sta­bil­ity.

“Most of the peo­ple who are build­ing man­sions on moun­tains of posh suburbs in this coun­try are evad­ing tax which is charged on cap­i­tal gains, thus they find it easy to splash ill-got­ten money on build­ings with 50 or so bed­rooms. If there are strict cap­i­tal gains tax laws, peo­ple will not just splash money, they will use it pro­duc­tively like start­ing com­pa­nies which will em­ploy peo­ple and thereby ben­e­fit­ing the whole na­tion.

“The sys­tem should make it a pol­icy that ev­ery­one should own a sin­gle house in the city so as to give fair op­por­tu­ni­ties to all the cit­i­zens. Peo­ple are splash­ing money which they get cor­ruptly on flashy com­modi­ties while oth­ers are wal­low­ing in poverty,” he said.

Ad­dress­ing the same Com­mit­tee, Air Force of Zim­babwe Air Vice Mar­shal Ja­cob Nzvede said the forecast weather dis­as­ters such as the im­pend­ing La Nino floods re­ported by the Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ser­vices De­part­ment would be dif­fi­cult to con­tain if the Air­force bud­get was not suf­fi­cient.

He said like the army, the Air Force of Zim­babwe re­quired a big­ger bud­get so that it could fully serve its man­date of pro­tect­ing the ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity and sovereignty of the na­tion.

Of late there have been cases of se­nior Govern­ment of­fi­cials who have been im­pli­cated in abus­ing state re­sources.

Ma­jor General Dou­glas Nyika­yaramba stresses a point to the Par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee on De­fence and Se­cu­rity yes­ter­day. Look­ing on are Min­istry of De­fence Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary Mr Martin Rush­waya and Air Vice Mar­shal Ja­cob Nzvede. (Pic­ture by John Man­zongo)

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