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Gold branding necessary in anti-smuggling fight, says ZACC

by Staff reporter
02 May 2022 at 07:54hrs | Views
Zimbabwean gold needs to be branded so it can be positively identified once smuggled out of the country, to enable easy identification, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has said.

Lack of identity has in the past, made it difficult to prove that gold intercepted outside the country came from Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe loses billions of dollars yearly through gold smuggling, the major destinations being South Africa and Dubai.

ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda Moyo said branding of gold was key in curbing illegal exports.

"We have identified a number of areas that need attention as we continue with our fight against corruption. In the area of gold smuggling, we found out that it is difficult to identify gold smuggled from Zimbabwe once it leaves the country.

"For example, when the smuggled gold reaches OR Tambo International Airport, we cannot positively identify it as ours hence there is need for marking of our own gold for easy identification, even on the global market.

"We continue to lose gold through smuggling but branding of gold will go a long way in curbing the crime."

Gold is not the only mineral being smuggled out and ZACC wants Zimbabwe to invest in more equipment that can detect hidden minerals at the country's borders.

"What we are losing is much more than what we are trying to save. Billions of dollars are being lost annually and we must invest in equipment that detects hidden minerals at the country's ports of entry and exit," said Justice Matanda Moyo.

ZACC recently embarked on a range of campaigns aimed at preventing financial losses and corruption to back its efforts into hunting down the crimes once committed.

The preventative thrust is paying off.

In this prevention mode, ZACC meets parastatals' boards almost weekly to exchange notes and to share ideas on how to stop corruption happening in the first place rather than just investigate after the money has been stolen.

Such interaction has yielded positive results and saved the State a total of US$18 million between mid-last year and last month.

The ZACC boss said these measures to stop corruption are yielding positive results.

The commission was rolling out the integrity strategy and implementation model framework to help boards of directors prevent corruption at parastatals and other State entities.

The commission, Justice Matanda-Moyo said, has developed an integrity strategy model framework that will assist boards to develop, implement and monitor the integrity strategy as well as operationalise the integrity committees.

The integrity strategy model includes instruments, processes, policies, conditions, systems and control requirements that public entities should have in place to support integrity.

The model encourages self-assessment while creating governance controls which help identify, monitor and report potential corruption.

Boards of public entities are required to set clear rules, regulations and policies dealing with integrity and prevention of corruption in their organisations.

The strategy emphasises due diligence before contracts are signed, with the policy of full disclosure given a priority.

Boards are now expected to approve and render the necessary support for the establishment of integrity committees and then the boards are expected to report back to ZACC twice a year on the activities that promote integrity and prevent corruption.

ZACC this year met the boards of public entities to introduce the integrity strategy model framework.

Starting with the two revenue collectors, the first meeting was on March 21 with the Zimbabwe National Road Administration, which collects road licence fees and the highway tolls and then two days later with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, which collects the rest of the taxes.

That second meeting also drew in the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority and the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe.

On March 28, ZACC met Printflow, Allied Timbers and CMED Private Limited.

Boards of the Grain Marketing Board, Rural Electrification Agency and the National Social Security Authority met ZACC on March 31 with the boards of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board on April 4.

The sixth meeting brought in ZimParks, NatPharm and TelOne boards on April 7.

Source - The Herald
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