From Malawi to South Africa and Zimbabwe, from Angola to Mozambique and Namibia, in countries across Africa high-ranking civil servants and their relatives, in cahoots with industry and business leaders, seem to have long been shamelessly stealing from the long-suffering masses.
Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera fired the country’s chief of police, suspended several senior government officials and also took the extraordinary step of stripping his deputy, Saulos Chilima, of all powers after they were accused of receiving kickbacks from UK-based businessman Zuneth Sattar in exchange for government contracts worth more than $150m. Chakwera had to dissolve the country’s cabinet after three prominent ministers – Lands Minister Kezzie Msukwa, Labour Minister Ken Kandodo and Energy Minister Newton Kambala – faced corruption charges. Last year, acting UN Resident Coordinator Rudolf Schwenk said Malawi is unable to provide its citizens with “effective healthcare, quality education, accessible justice and an accountable and responsive democracy” because of high levels of corruption.
South Africa’s Chief Justice Raymond Zondo released the final instalment of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and found that the ruling African National Congress party, under Zuma, “permitted, supported and enabled corruption and state capture”. Former President Jacob Zuma and a plethora of former ministers and CEOs of state-owned companies systematically planned and executed state capture to aid the wealthy Gupta family and line their pockets. South Africa, meanwhile, is experiencing electric blackouts, largely because corruption and gross mismanagement have debilitated state utility Eskom. The country is experiencing this lack of reliable energy amid an unemployment crisis – today, a record 7.9 million South Africans are believed to be jobless.