Yesterday news broke that the Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Douglas Karoro had been arrested for suspected corruption. Such developments used to be news in Zimbabwe with social media, private media and the public in general eager to get a word in. Nowadays it is different. No one is surprised. No one is talking about this except state media and honestly, it will be very surprising if the Deputy Minister is convicted and lands in prison. To most of us, this is the latest chapter in the cache and release saga.

So what are the deputy Minister’s alleged crimes? The Herald had a list:

Dep Min of Lands, Agric, Fisheries, Water & Rural Dev Douglas Karoro has been arrested over allegations that he grabbed 700 bags of fertiliser, 30 tonnes of maize seed & 5000 vegetable combo kits from the Presidential inputs schemes in March and last month & sold them.

The deputy minister’s alleged crimes according to the Herald.

Why are you writing about corruption?

This is a question we sometimes get here at Zimpricecheck.com. Why are you writing about corruption instead of quietly updating the prices of various items on this site? The main reason is context. We just do not update people on the latest prices, we also endeavour to tell them why the prices are going up or have gone up. One reason the Zimbabwean economy is in the toilet, even though the government claims it is not, is because Zimbabwe has a high corruption perception index according to a number of sources.

This has resulted in a decline in foreign direct investment as most investors shun the country despite the constant claim that Zimbabwe is open for business. Many investors are scared of losing their money and are not short on options. They would rather invest in countries with lower levels of corruption where doing business is much easier.

The result? Less local production; which means more importing; which means more pressure on the foreign currency; which means a spiralling rate; which means us suffering regular price increases like we are having at the moment.

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