n Ubuntu : Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation - When politics corrupts policy : corruption as a political feasibility problem in Zimbabwe

Volume 2, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 2078-760X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4950


This paper explores how the primacy put on politics, at the expense of policy, undergirds ineffective anti-corruption efforts in Zimbabwe. According to Transparency International's 2011 Corruption Perception Index, Zimbabwe ranks among the most corrupt countries in Africa, with a score of 2.2, a third notch from the highly corrupt. Using secondary data, this paper argues that the diagnosis of pervasive grand corruption in Zimbabwe - often portrayed as a failure to investigate and prosecute - is an outcome of the policy-politics dilemma where political feasibility becomes the major determinant in the delicate political balancing exercise by policy makers and/or political elites to bring public officials to accountability without endangering their own lives and to implement anti-corruption policies without rocking the political establishment. This argument buttresses the political science perspective that the anti-corruption agenda is at the mercy of weak democratic political systems, hence the need to democratise Zimbabwe's politics and strengthen state institutions in order to render the fight against corruption politically feasible.

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