Zimbabwe’s journalists can turn around the country’s fortunes in 48 hours and are the only ones who can end the twin problems of corruption and the exchange rate, Chivi South legislator Killer Zivhu told journalists in Masvingo this week.
Addressing more than 20 journalists who were attending a workshop on effective community reporting organised by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, Zivhu said: “The Zimbabwe that you want. The Zimbabwe that you dream of is in your hands.”
Zivhu said corruption would only end if journalists do proper investigations and expose those involved.
“If you write stories about corruption, even in local papers like the Mirror, Tellzim or Masvingo Star….., corruption will slow down until it ends. It can never be stopped by the police, or the courts or even the anti-corruption commission. The only people who can expose corruption until things are normal are journalists,” he said.
“Because ukarohwa, ukadambugwa, ukadambugwa mangwana unouya wozvidefender. Pakuzvidefender ikoko unozvipa order woga. Unozvicontroller. You control yourself because hapana munhu anoda kungoramba achingodambugwa, achiverengwa nenyika yose. Next thing you give yourself order,” he said.
Corruption is Zimbabwe’s worst enemy but even though President Emmerson Mnangagwa made the fight against corruption his priority when he came to power in November 2017, very little has been done.
Dozens of people, including senior members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, have been arrested but there have been virtually no convictions at all leading critics to say this is all a charade.
Zivhu said for sanctions to be removed, it was not for Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa to sit down and talk.
“It’s not POLAD that can end sanctions. Sanctions can only go if Zimbabwean journalists decide they must go,” he said.
Zimbabwe has been under European Union and United States sanctions for nearly 20 though both the EU and the US argue that the sanctions are not against the country but are aimed at designated ZANU-PF politicians whom they accuse of gross human rights violations.
The EU has lifted its sanctions on all individuals but maintains them on the Zimbabwe Defence Industries. It maintains suspended sanctions against former First Lady Grace Mugabe as well as Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and Lands Minister Perrance Shiri.
The United States has refused to lift sanctions on more than 140 individuals and firms.
Zivhu, who made his name as leader of the Cross Border Traders Association, said he had told Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube that he should see him if he wants the black market rates to go down by 80 percent.
He said this would be done within 72 hours.
The Zimbabwe dollar which was at par with the United States dollar 15 months ago, is now down to 18:1 at the official interbank rate while the black market rate is around 27:1.
Zivhu says he can reduce the black market by working together with journalists.
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