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Zacc targets 250 State entities, departments

by Staff reporter
04 Feb 2022 at 05:32hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) wants all Auditor General reports implemented in full for 250 departments, parastatals and other public entities to enhance public finance management systems and prevent corruption and abuse of power.

The audits uncovered sloppiness rather than corruption, but having good systems properly used makes corruption very difficult since everything can be checked later and the systems themselves mean that it is harder to do anything underhand.

ZACC sees preventing corruption as important as catching the corrupt.

ZACC will also mount systems and compliance reviews and anti-corruption clinics at State entities perceived as potential red zones of corruption since so many people need to use them.

These include the Vehicle Inspection Department, Registrar General's Office, Central Vehicle Registry and the Grain Marketing Board.

Such entities need more attention as temptations for corruption are higher and opportunities greater.

More arrests and prosecution of all forms of corruption including high profile cases will be effected this year as ZACC seeks to complement efforts by the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa in the attainment of Vision 2030 underpinned by National Development Strategy 1 through ensuring a corruption-free society.

Already, former Cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries and senior Government officials have been arraigned before the courts for various corruption-related cases, with many trials now in progress after the lockdown delays.

Zacc spokesperson, Commissioner John Makamure, outlined in an interview the commission's road map for this year.

"The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission will ramp up prevention of corruption this year as the Second Republic moves several gears up in combating corruption in both the public and private sectors," he said.

"Prevention programmes will complement very much significant achievements being realised in the area of investigations for prosecution and asset recovery.

"ZACC will reach out to 250 public institutions in 2022 to enforce implementation of the Auditor General's recommendations

"Every month, the commission will host accounting and financial reporting seminars as one of the mechanisms to ensure the Auditor General's recommendations are implemented and strengthen public financial management oversight.

"We have teamed up with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Zimbabwe in this exercise."

Last year, ZACC worked closely with Parliament's Public Accounts Committee in its quest to superintend the prudence of public financial management at all levels of Government, including statutory bodies, Government-controlled bodies and provincial and metropolitan entities and local authorities.

"We managed to assist 27 parastatals to establish integrity committees in 2021," said Comm Makamure. "We are targeting a much bigger number in 2022.

"Related to integrity committees is the signing of integrity pledges by politicians and senior public and private sector officials. The roll-out of the integrity pledges will be accelerated in 2022."

Comm Makamure said eight local authorities, that include Mutoko, Norton, Mudzi, Umzingwane, Zaka, Karoi, Chegutu and Makonde signed implementation matrices of the recommendations following ZACC systems and compliance checks.

"We have just completed one for Mberengwa," he said. "A check of the Central Vehicle Registry was also undertaken in relation to the issue of vehicle number plates. A more comprehensive systems and compliance review of CVR will be undertaken in order to bring order to this public institution."

CVR attracted the attention of ZACC after several allegations of possible corruption related to issuance of number plates emerged, with motorists complaining that it was a huge hassle to get the plates despite continued assurance from the parent ministry that Government had acquired enough plates.

"In addition to systems and compliance reviews, anti-corruption clinics will be mounted at critical public institutions namely VID, Registrar General's Office, CMED, GMB, Zupco, to name but a few," said Comm Makamure.

"Public awareness campaigns on anti-corruption will be taken to all corners of the country. ZACC will partner civil society organisations, religious groups, members of Parliament and any interested stakeholders in that exercise."

ZACC is mandated to investigate corruption cases and submit dockets to the National Prosecution Authority for prosecution, who then decided whether there is adequate evidence to bring a case or not.

Source - The Herald
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