Zimbabwe Declare Assets Campaign falls on deaf ears as MDC party breaks promise to declare assets
Zimbabwe Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Obert Gutu (MDC-T) has told protest singer cum activist Viomak to declare her assets first as the campaign to have MDC leaders declare assets gathered momentum a few days back.
The activist who since 2009 has been at the centre of spearheading a campaign to have MDC leaders declare their personal assets to combat corruption was left shell –shocked after being told to declare her assets even though she is not in government but is just an activist demanding that MDC leaders do the right thing by declaring their assets,something that ZANUPF failed to do.
The outspoken activist firstly responded to Deputy Minister Gutu’s facebook thread in which he said,
“Those of us who have amassed illegitimate wealth by means of loot and corruption should simply do the honourable thing and resign. I am one of those who are prepared to declare their assets anytime!!”
Viomak went on to ask the Deputy Minister what he was waiting for when she said,
“So what are you waiting for Hon Obert Gutu? I’m sure you have the right to declare your assets if you really want to. You were quoted saying - “I am one of those who are prepared to declare their assets anytime.”
“For interest's sake, may VioMak kindly publish her list of assets! It's always good to '' lead '' by example!!” Responded the Deputy Minister.
“Dear Hon Obert Gutu.Thank you for responding.Why do you want me to declare my list of assets?” Asked Viomak.
The thread then ended with no answer from the Deputy Minister.
“Hon Obert Gutu’s response was very arrogant, typical of Zimbabwe leaders who are convinced that they are not answerable to the people.It looks like they are busy looting public resources.Why would a government leader give such a rude answer ? ” Asked Viomak.
In a separate thread on the same day, after being questioned by Viomak, the Deputy Minister went on to confirm once again how he was ready to declare his assets.
“I have absolutely nothing to hide! I can account for everything that I own....including those chickens at Mushayavanhu Business Centre in Gutu!!”
“Dear Hon Gutu.No one said you have anything to hide.Declaring assets helps combat corruption and it is very good that you are prepared to declare the assets.So when are you going to declare the assets and how? Has MDC put in place yet a mechanism on how to do it?”
The Deputy Minister is said to have ignored this question too.
In a separate incident Deputy Minister Obert Gutu was also quoted saying “If corruption went on unchecked it would destroy the country.” His words came after it was revealed that ZANUPF Minister Ignatius Chombo has allegedly amassed wealth of grand proportions believed to have been amassed through corruption.
“Since 2009 MDC Hon Obert Gutu has been saying that he is prepared to declare his personal assets and that is after I spearheaded that campaign and the they (MDC party) came up with the “ Real Change Code of Ethics and Values ” wrote Viomak.
“Then media reports on 28 February 2010 and 02 March 2010, confirmed that MDC –T leaders will declare their assets. According to the reports the officials will be required to declare their assets before taking office in new regulations contained in a document named the 'Real Change Code of Ethics and Values'. The party will continue assessing how the leaders accumulate their assets on a yearly basis as a way to fight and eradicate corruption amongst their leaders in line with their mandate for transparency and accountability in government " Added Viomak.
Viomak went on to explain to the Deputy Minister how she released a song ‘Chinja Maitiro’ in March 2010 to cement the campaign and how Hon Obert Gutu is still saying he is willing to declare his assets even up to today.
She also added that she never heard anyone in MDC talking about the 'Real Change Code of Ethics and Values’, the moment she went silent as she gave the MDC time to follow up on their promise.
Viomak went on to ask the Deputy Minister to stop focusing on ZANUPF Minister Chombo's assets but declare their assets too as they promised.
“Otherwise STOP focusing on Chombo's wealth before declaring your assets yourselves. Clean your closet first.” She wrote.
“Eight (8) months ago I also tagged you video - Chinja maitiro song to declare assets and you never declared only to keep saying I am ready to declare my personal assets.Kana zviri kunetsa makadii kuti Vio I am willing to listen to your plea here are my assets. (If it is difficult why didn’t you say Vio I am willing to listen to your plea here are my assets) Looks like you don't know that some of us document all these things.Moti nanga nanga nezvaChombo ko zvenyu makatipa here? (You are focusing on Chombo’s assets did you declare yours?) Those I tagged the video are Arthur Mutambara, Gorden Moyo, Last Tamai Maingehama Obert Chaurura Gutu Rukweza Jacob Cllr” She added.
As if that was not enough she referred Minister Obert Gutu to a petition below that she wrote in 2009 to enhance the campaign after which she wrote an open letter below to them.
MDC Where are the assets that you promised to declare ?
Where the assets that you promised to declare as per the campaign that I spearheaded since April 2009? I am asking because as a Zimbabwean citizen I have the right to know. You are answerable to us citizens. When I spearheaded the campaign to have MDC leaders declare their personal assets to combat corruption you published a Real Change Code of Ethics and Values ‘book’ to prove that you were also ready to declare your assets to monitor corruption. I went on to release the song CHINJA MAITIRO to cement the campaign thinking that you would declare the assets.
Hon Lovemore Moyo was quoted saying “Ministers and MPs are supposed to register their assets because we want to make sure they are accountable since they are entrusted with public funds. The assets will be registered to Parliament and we are looking at implementing the exercise soon” ,in an article ZIMBABWEAN CABINET MEMBERS TO DECLARE ASSETS published by Zimbabwe Telegraph on August 22, 2009 http://www.zimtelegraph.com/?p=2416
Hon Obert Gutu wrote an opinion that PUBLIC OFFICIALS SHOULD DECLARE THEIR ASSETS published by Nehanda radio on September 2, 2009. http://nehandaradio.com/2009/09/02/public-officials-should-declare-their-assets/
Hon Jameson Timba in an interview with Kubatana Trust in September 2009 shared his sentiments when Upenyu Makoni –Muchemwa asked him about our campaign for leaders to declare personal assets and the minister said, “I’ve not heard of the campaign, but I’m not averse to it. I think it’s an excellent idea. Currently now there is a provision, within parliament, that parliament can actually ask members to disclose their personal assets and I think it is a good idea.”
NOW have you deposited with a known legal law firm, a list of all immovable property, movable property and liabilities in and outside Zimbabwe according to your Real Change Code of Ethics and Values?
When I asked Hon Obert Gutu when the assets would be declared he told me to declare my assets first.
Is his response in line with your Real Change Code of Ethics and Values which says “The MDC officials shall also perform their official duties and arrange their private affairs in a manner that allows closest public scrutiny, an obligation that is not fully discharged by simply acting within the law.”
Below is what you published in 2009 .Now let’s see if you kept your promise of transparency and accountability. January 2010 is already gone.
The ruling MDC has come up with an ethics and values code that will forthwith guide all party officials in their day-to-day operations, including upholding the party’s values and jealously guarding them against any form of misgovernance.
All MDC officials, including President Morgan Tsvangirai, the entire senior party leadership to ward level representatives, are expected to sign the code of ethics and values beginning this week. One of the main objectives of the code, known as the Real Change Code of Ethics and Values, is for all party officials to shun any form of corruption and abuse of office and be accountable to the party and the people of Zimbabwe who voted them into public office.
“This code shall apply to all elected, appointed or deployed officials of the MDC serving in the Party, Government, local authorities, any institution receiving public funds, parastatals, voluntary associations and any other public or private body howsoever defined,” part of the code of ethics reads.
This code is the first of its kind to be crafted and implemented by a political party in southern Africa and it will have strict guidelines that will apply to all MDC public office bearers.
“Article 3 of the MDC Constitution captures the values of the Party; of solidarity, justice, equality, liberty, freedom, transparency, humble and obedient leadership and accountability as its core founding values”.
Among other issues, the code of ethics and values will also boost and maintain the public’s confidence and trust in the integrity of elected, appointed, deployed or representative officials of the MDC. The benchmarks would also provide a legitimate and transparent measurement and yardstick for the evaluation of all MDC representatives.
Among other issues, all MDC public officials should by 13 January of each year deposit with a known legal law firm, a list of all immovable property, movable property and liabilities in and outside Zimbabwe.The MDC officials shall also perform their official duties and arrange their private affairs in a manner that allows closest public scrutiny, an obligation that is not fully discharged by simply acting within the law.
The party is all the majority party in the House of Assembly after winning the 2008 March harmonised elections in which President Tsvangirai beat Zanu PF’s Robert Mugabe in the presidential election. Meanwhile, the MDC has established an independent investigations commission that will probe any allegations of corruption brought against the party’s officials. The commission is made up of various eminent individuals and the names will be made public by President Tsvangirai soon.
Tags: Viomak , Robert Mugabe , Zanupf , Morgan Tsvangirai , Mdc , Obert Gutu , Facebook , Voto , Jameson Timba , Lovemore Moyo
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