In Zimbabwe, a nation once deemed a banana republic and now seen as a banana peel republic, individuals seeking justice for victims of brutal and heinous crimes face imprisonment, as seen in the cases of Job Sikhala and Moreblessing Ali. However, if one is a corrupt and destructive member of the discredited ZANU-PF, which clings to power illegitimately despite its obvious failure, they can seemingly escape any consequences for their actions, including murder, bribery, and the smuggling of the country’s vital resources. The biased and unprofessional police force, in need of transformation into a police service under a peaceful, resourceful opposition, and the largely superficial anti-corruption commission, riddled with corruption, both choose to turn a blind eye.

Individuals like Rushwaya are abundant in the ZANU-PF, which is preoccupied with the fruitless concept of creating a one-party state. In this system, constitutional liberalism – which upholds the rule of law, equality before the law, impartiality, an independent and nonpartisan judiciary, transparency, and accountability – is systematically dismantled through the regular distortion and disregard of the nation’s constitution by the very destructive ZANU-PF. As a result, the illegitimate government staffs vital institutions and commissions, including the anti-corruption commission, with similarly corrupt individuals to ensure its own survival while continuing to loot and pillage, as evidenced by Rushwaya’s actions.

For ordinary citizens, this means a life of abject poverty and certain destitution, while battling the relentless hardship determined to consume them. Basic services are neglected, and the corrupt ZANU-PF remains unresponsive and indifferent to their plight. This is a consequence of the deliberate looting and plundering by the ZANU-PF, which continues unimpeded, violating citizens’ fundamental constitutional rights and liberties, such as the right to life, education, and healthcare.

The USD 5,000 bribe that Rushwaya offered a security guard to allow her to board a plane and smuggle gold could have provided much-needed supplies for a small clinic in Dande or Chipinge. These supplies could have saved the lives of pregnant women giving birth, snake bite victims, malaria patients, or those suffering from rabies. Given her position as president of Zimbabwe’s Miners Federation, it is highly plausible that this was not Rushwaya’s first attempt at gold smuggling. This indicates that bribery is her modus operandi, an irresistible temptation for workers reduced to a desperate state by the failing ZANU-PF and the country’s dire economic situation.

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