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Mnangagwa walks the talk on anti-corruption

by Staff Reprter
04 Oct 2020 at 08:32hrs | Views
ON February 20, 2004, Zimbabwe appended its signature to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) as it joined the global community in efforts to combat the economy's corroding cancer.

The world anti-graft treaty was ratified when the late Kofi Annan was Secretary-General of the United Nations and he described corruption as an "evil phenomenon" and an "insidious plague".

This was during the late former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, whose administration was accused of not having a strong hand on corruption.

President Mugabe's exit birthed Zimbabwe's Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa, which immediately set an ambitious target to transform the country into an upper middle-income economy.

Dubbed Vision 2030, the grand plan involves having a US$65 billion economy with a gross national income (GDI) per capita of between US$4 046 and US$12 535.

This, however, cannot be achieved in a country where corruption is rife. Which is why the Head of State and Government has set out to eradicate corruption completely.

Upon assuming office, President Mnangagwa promised to punish corruption as it destroys the quality of life for the citizenry, disrupts and distorts markets, and ultimately stifles economic growth.

All the Second Republic's efforts are aimed at stopping corruption and wipe away negative effects of illicit deals. The economic impact of corruption is that it increases the cost of doing business and reduces Government revenue through bribery, tax evasion and granting of tenders to briefcase companies, among other ills.

Massive externalisation of foreign currency has seen billions of dollars being siphoned out of the country. This impacts on risk rating of the country and chases away potential foreign investors.

Thus a robust anti-graft drive is imperative for a successful economy.

Walking the talk

As part of concerted efforts to plug the leakages bleeding the economy, Government set up new bodies and strengthened existing institutions to deal with rampant corruption in public and private procurement, among many other contentious areas.

A Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President and Cabinet (Sacu) headed by Mr Tabani Mpofu was appointed as a crack team against murky deals.

The unit has made several successful investigations particularly on Harare City Council's shady land deals which saw the arrest of high profile figures such as former Harare Mayor councillor Herbert Gomba, former housing director Mr Matthew Marara and other council officials.

Top cops who include the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director, Commissioner Chrispen Charumbira, was arrested on bribery allegations involving drug dealers.

Police Assistant Commissioner Obeylaw Moyo, who is the director of investigations in the Commercial Crimes Department (CCD), and Harare regional prosecutor Clemence Chimbare were also arrested on corruption allegations.

Sacu has been actively involved in probing illicit fuel trading and unjust school fees adjustments.

The President appointed a new Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) led by Justice Loyce Matanda-Moyo and eight other commissioners.

ZACC has confronted corruption head-on with two former Cabinet Ministers, Prisca Mupfumira and Obadiah Moyo, appearing before the courts for criminal abuse of duty as public officers.

They have since been fired from Government over the allegations.

Many other cases of senior officials in Government ministries, public entities and the private sector are pending before the courts. Several investigations are underway to bring many culprits to book.

ZACC has set an annual target of at least 80 dockets to be completed and submitted to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for prosecution by the end of this year.

The commission spokesman Commissioner John Makamure told The Sunday Mail that the greatest achievement is the development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy through a highly consultative process.

"The National Anti-Corruption Strategy Steering Committee has diverse representation and held its inaugural meeting two weeks ago. The six sub-committees will hold their inaugural meetings mid-October.

"Asset recovery is proceeding very well. We are currently handling 36 cases to do with asset recovery running into more than US$4,5 million. We drafted an Anti-Corruption Commission Lay Bill which is now with the Attorney-General's Office.

"The AG and the Ministry of Justice have been engaged to speed up enactment. In that Bill is a comprehensive section on whistleblower protection."

National police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the law enforcement agents had joined hands with other organisations such as ZACC and the NPA to combat corrupt machinations.

Police, he said, were seriously tackling corruption at all levels.

"We have arrested many people and some cases are pending before the courts.

''Some have been convicted. Zero tolerance to corruption is a message to all citizens.

Zimbabweans should report such cases as we fight to eradicate this problem for the achievement of Vision 2030," said Asst Comm Nyathi.

Key stakeholders in the anti-graft drive — the police, Sacu, ZACC, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's Financial Intelligence Unit, ZIMRA, NPA, Immigration Department and Transparency International Zimbabwe have all put hands on the deck as Zimbabweans unite to win the war against the scourge which cripples the economy at the expense of the masses.

Thus, President Mnangagwa's administration is vigorously walking the talk on corruption and soon graft will be eliminated, just like arbitrage opportunities that existed in many industries such as the fuel sector, currency trading and mobile money

Source - Sunday Mail

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