Zimbabwean minister says corruption can be productive

Terrence Mukupe, Zimbabwean deputy finance minister, says corruption can be positive for a country.

According to New Zimbabwe, Makupe said this at a roundtable in Harare, the nation’s capital, on Tuesday.

The minister explained that corruption could be the motivation that could ensure “that the transaction works”.

“I read an article to the effect that corruption can be also positive for the country. After going through that article I can actually give you some life lessons I had,” he said.

“I remember when I was advisor to ESSAR (An Indian company that wanted to invest in Ziscosteel) and ESSAR wanted to come into Zimbabwe, someone approached me and said the fundamental mistake you are making with ESSAR is that you don’t have a local partner.

“Make sure that you have a local partner if your things are going to work well. And I remember the Indian investor said to me; but the government is my partner and I would like to believe that everything would work well. And the response that this guy made was that government is not a person and it does not eat, it does not breath, it is not motivated to make the transaction work well.

“So by you giving away part of your transaction to someone else, that person is going to make sure that they wake up every day because they are motivated to make sure that the transaction works. So that is a case of positive corruption.”

Mukupe said people of Zimbabwe are generally corrupt.

“It’s the moral fibre of our society and what I always say is that as Zimbabweans we are generally corrupt people and the reason why I say we are generally a corrupt people is that if we were to do a quick survey privately, anonymously in this room here probably over 90 percent of the people here have bribed some police officer sometime,” the minister said.