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MPs step up fight against graft

by Staff reporter
18 Aug 2019 at 09:54hrs | Views
The Africa Parliamentarians Network for Anti-Corruption (Apnac) plans to sponsor three major laws that will tighten the fight against corruption and bring culprits to book in the country.

This was revealed by a representative of the continental anti-graft body and Kambuzuma MP, Willias Madzimure, in a presentation he delivered at a regional investigative journalism conference held in Harare on Friday.

The event was organised by the Information for Development Trust (IDT), a local non-profit making media organisation, and was attended by heads of investigative journalism centres in Sadc countries.

"Apnac is concerned with the high levels of corruption in Zimbabwe,"Madzimure said.

"In order to deal with this vice, the body has decided to sponsor three private members' bills.

"These are the Protection of Whistleblowers Bill, Asset Recovery Bill and the Asset Declaration Bill.

"These pieces of legislation will ensure that public figures are held accountable and where they are convicted of corruption, all properties acquired through corrupt means will be seized by the state," he said.

Apnac is a network of African parliamentarians aimed at involving parliamentarians in the fight against corruption. Its headquarters are in Kampala, Uganda.

Madzimure stressed that while there is a government policy in Zimbabwe for public office bearers to declare their assets, the strategy is weak.

"We actually need something that is binding and not just a policy," he said.

"That is why we want to sponsor a bill that can then be a law on that issue.

"The current government has been speaking about zero tolerance and so we are confident that they will support these bills. It should be difficult for them to reject such bills."

Onesmus Nyaude from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, who represented the body's chairperson, Loice Matanda-Moyo, said the organisation was ready to collaborate with investigative journalists to fight graft in the country.

"We are ready to make collaborations with the media and share information and tips_ on cases of corruption," he said.

"Once journalists give us leads, our intelligence officers and investigators will surely make follow-ups and build cases.

"On our part we can also share information on corruption with the media."

Veteran journalist John Gambanga praised IDT for putting together the regional seminar and urged organisers to up-scale programmes that promote investigative journalism in Zimbabwe.

He lamented lack of such initiatives by local media houses who struggle to finance investigative journalism.

Source - the standard