Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, has vowed to crackdown on corruption involving high-profile state officials following recent damning exposures of corrution, including at the national airline.
“If there was any corruption, people will answer for it, I tell you,” Mugabe said on Friday at a belated party hosted by civil servants and security forces to celebrate his 90th birthday.
His warning came after media reports of alleged corruption involving senior officials across a number of state-run bodies including the government pensions authority, power utilities and the national airline, Air Zimbabwe.
Mugabe described corruption as a “growing disease” that had “ruined the country”.
The media has also reported on grossly inflated salaries for bosses at the public broadcaster, which failed to pay other workers for more than six months.
And the CEO of a public service health insurance fund, which has been in arrears in its remittances to hospitals and practitioners, has reportedly been receiving a monthly salary of $230,000.
According to the CIA Factbook, 68 per cent of Zimbabweans live on less than $1 a day.
Mugabe, in power since 1980, turned 90 on February 21. Birthday celebrations were held at a stadium in the small town of Marondera, east of the capital and attended by thousands of supporters.