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ZACC investigates nine parastatals

by Staff reporter
11 May 2023 at 05:30hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is investigating nine State-owned enterprises and local authorities flagged by the Auditor General for suspected maladministration and other corporate governance failures.

In an interview with The Herald, ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, could not disclose the names of the companies to avoid jeopardising investigations but confirmed the development.

She said the investigations followed a report by the Auditor General's office which recommended action against any officials found to have been engaged in illegal activities.

The anti-graft body was acting swiftly on cases of suspected criminal offences by public officials.

So far this year there have been three completed trials, two of which have led to high-profile convictions.

Former Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) chief executive officer Saston Muzenda and Karoi provincial magistrate Felix Chaurome were sent to jail by the courts.

Muzenda was sentenced to 36 months in prison while Chaurome was sentenced to four years behind bars.

Justice Matanda-Moyo said the commission was looking forward to more convictions.

"Where the Auditor General's Office has raised issues that amount to a criminal offence, the Commission has conducted investigations into the allegations.

"To date the Commission has conducted investigations on nine parastatals which led to the arrest of officials in these companies," she said, adding that ZACC would follow leads from the Auditor General.

ZACC had incorporated a component of checking the implementation of the Auditor General's recommendations when carrying out compliance checks and system reviews.

"The Commission launched the "Evaluation of the Implementation of the Auditor General's recommendations" wherein the Commission sent circulars to over three hundred public entities requesting their internal audit departments to conduct evaluations on the implementation of the Auditor General's recommendations.

"By the end of the year 2022, over 60 institutions had responded to the Commission. The Commission is continuously engaging Public Institutions to report on their progress," she said.

Turning to the setting up of Integrity Committees, Justice Matanda-Moyo said this was one of the strategies being implemented to prevent corruption in public and private institutions.

She said of the 40 institutions engaged to set them up this year, a considerable number had successfully established the Integrity Committees.

Notable successful Integrity Committees include those for the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA), Mutare City Council, National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), Great Zimbabwe University, Gwanda State University, Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), NATPHAM, ZESA, TELONE and Midlands State University, among others.  

"An Integrity Committee is established in an organisation to combat corruption from within the organisation's sphere of influence.

"It is responsible for overseeing the Institution's ethics and compliance matters, to promote transparency and minimize opportunities for corruption.

"For the 40 institutions engaged to set up Integrity Committees, the Commission is conducting sensitisation workshops for the boards of the respective entities," she said.

During the second quarter of 2023, the anti-graft body will be training local authorities and universities that have set up their Integrity Committees in Harare, Masvingo, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West Provinces.

In addition, Justice Matanda-Moyo said, ZACC had embarked on a roll out of Integrity Pledges with the Registrar General and Commissioners from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) having already signed these.

"At the just ended ZITF at least 90 public officials signed Integrity Pledges, and these included the Registrar General and Commissioners from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

"The Commission is engaging stakeholders in preparation of National Integrity Committee Annual conference (NICAC) scheduled for October 2023.

"The main objective of this conference is to further capacitate and strengthen ICs and establish a National Integrity Committees Association (NICA)," she said.

Source - herald