ENHANCING CITIZENS VOICE IN FIGHTING CORRUPTION

Source: ENHANCING CITIZENS VOICE IN FIGHTING CORRUPTION. – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 16, 2019

Corruption remains endemic in Zimbabwe notwithstanding the many policy and institutional reforms that the government of Zimbabwe has introduced since November 2017. The Government of Zimbabwe has introduced such institutions as the Anti-corruption Courts and a Special Anti-corruption Prosecuting Authority. New Commissioners led by the prestigious former High Court Justice Matanda-Moyo has been sworn in and to date one would note the great work they seem to be working on. Government has reformed corruption-prone institutions such as the former State Procurement Board into the Procurement Regulatory Authority Zimbabwe. Good anti-corruption legislation such as the Money Laundering and proceeds of crime amendment Bill, Companies and other entities bill are being developed and gazetted. Government has gone ahead into launching an anti-corruption awareness campaign to increase public awareness on the right against corruption. Aside from these incredible anti-corruption policy reforms, Zimbabwe continues to be ranked amongst the corrupt countries globally scoring a low score of 21 on the 2018 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Findings from the Global Corruption Barometer reveals that 60% of respondents to the survey think corruption has increased in the previous 12 months and 71% indicated that Government is doing a bad job in tackling corruption. 25% of the respondents paid a bribe to access public services such as land and mining rights, while 45% of the respondents indicated that ordinary citizens can make a difference in the fight against corruption. Corruption will continue to thrive and public confidence in Government sincerity in fighting corruption will continue to erode for as long citizens are not part of the anti-corruption change efforts.

World over there is demonstrable evidence on the importance of citizens to the fight against corruption. 45% of the respondents to the Global Corruption Barometer expressed faith and willingness to be part of an anti-corruption movement. Certainly, Government and other key actors in the anti-corruption chain need to capitalize on this energy. The best is to take advantage of this momentum, through involving citizens in the development of a National Anti-corruption Strategy (NACS). The United Nations Convention Against Corruption to which Zimbabwe is a signatory to, under Article 5 on Preventive Anti-Corruption Policies and Practices, calls upon state parties to develop and implement or maintain effective, coordinated anti-corruption policies. Anti-corruption strategies define a set of priority objectives to prevent and combat corruption. Usually they also include action plans with implementation and monitoring mechanisms. A number of countries globally have developed NACS and these include the United Kingdom, Romania, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Tanzania, Zambia, Nigeria, South Africa and many others. TI Z has a model anti-corruption strategy which has six pillars. The six pillars are:

  1. Judicial integrity

  2. Land sector governance

  3. Mining sector governance

  4. Business integrity

  5. Public finance management

  6. Empowered citizenry.

The focus on empowered citizenry entails that the NACS is people centred and the citizens will actively participate in the fight against corruption. The objective being to promote citizens participation in the anti-corruption initiatives.

COMMENTS

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    Mukanya 1 month ago

    The anti-corruption mantra in Zimbabwe is a hollow routine just to buy time as the vice consolidates itself thus becoming part of the system endorsed by the Constitution.