BY PRIVELEDGE GUMBODETE
Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has bemoaned the scourge of corruption, which he says has resulted in US$1,8 billion being lost through illicit financial flows (IFFs).
Addressing party supporters at Rujeko grounds in Masvingo on Sunday, Chamisa promised that if elected into power, his government would legislate for life sentences for corrupt individuals.
“Corruption has killed the country. US$1,8 billion is lost through illicit financial flows and the billions are being enjoyed by a few individuals. When we get into power, corruption charges will attract life sentences,” Chamisa said.
“Those doing shady deals . . . the first thing we are going to do is to review all decisions that were not made or done in the national interest. If the deals are not helping the country, we will reverse them,” he said.
In a 2022 national budget strategy paper, the Zimbabwe Coalition for Debt and Development (Zimcodd) said IFFs were increasingly becoming a cause of concern globally, adding that they would impact negatively the realisation of sustainable development goals (SDGs).
“The obvious impact of illicit financial flows is loss of revenue much-needed for the attainment of SDGs, hence they prejudice countries of millions and billions of dollars which would have been channelled towards domestic consumption and for private and public investment,” Zimcodd said.
Turning to local authorities, Chamisa said his party would review the Local Government Act to ensure that political parties will not have the power to recall councillors elected by the people as well as to separate powers of central government and local government.
“Local government is being destroyed by the central government. We do not want councillors to be selected without an executive mayor. We want the return of the executive mayors who are elected by the people so that they are accountable to you. If he does not perform, you remove him — not what is happening now where the Minister of Local Government can remove mayors.
“We want to give power to the local authorities and the right to recall to citizens and not political parties. We are going to restore Masvingo as one of the ancient cities. We are also going to develop other cities, for instance, Bulawayo as the hub of industrialisation, Gweru as the administrative capital and Masvingo as the hub of logistics because you are strategically located.”
He said his government would dollarise the economy and after stabilising it, re-introduce the local currency backed by gold.