Source: ZACC forges anti-graft alliances | The Herald October 4, 2019
Zvamaida Murwira and Victor Maphosa
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) yesterday forged alliances with several stakeholders through signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to strengthen coordination in the fight against corruption.
The anti-graft body signed MoUs with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Auditor-General, University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit, Immigration Department, Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ), Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) and Ezekiel Guti University.
In her keynote address, ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said the agreement would ensure that they joined forces to fight corruption.
“The signing of these Memoranda of Understanding has come at an opportune time when Zimbabwe is also undergoing a governance assessment by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which is covering the anti-corruption framework. The assessment will cover, among others, plans for developing a national anti-corruption strategy and engagement of non-state actors and the institutional co-ordination in investigation and prosecution of corruption cases,” she said.
“These MoUs we are signing today will ensure that our different roles are clearly defined and that we join forces for a common good, which is to achieve a corrupt-free Zimbabwe, this will ensure that we present a unified front which is effectively co-ordinated,” she said.
Director-general of the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit Mr Mirirai Chiremba said a national risk assessment of money laundering they carried out in 2014 indicated more than US$1,8 billion was leaving the country through illicit means.
He said of the US$1,8 billion, smuggling accounted for US$900 million, while corruption and tax evasion were responsible for US$500 million apiece.
“We recognised the fact that although corruption accounts for around US$500 million it cuts across these other two because how do you smuggle goods without paying a bribe, how do you smuggle gold out of the country without paying a bribe, how do you evade tax without paying a bribe? Everything now sits on corruption,” said Mr Chiremba.
“Globally, corruption is the second most worrisome offence after tax evasion, so we cannot take it lightly. There should be as many MOUs as possible, there should be intra and inter MOUs for us to be able to fight corruption.”
Auditor-General Mrs Mildred Chiri commended the development and pledged her office’s full support for ZACC.
“My office is elated by this development as it comes at a time when the country is on a journey to build a middle class economy by 2030, a milestone we can only achieve in a crime-free Zimbabwe.
“The work of ZACC relates to mine in more ways than one. My audit reports form a critical component of this co-operation as well as a basis for ZACC and other stakeholders to act on.
“The eradication of corruption will surely better the lives of citizens. It is against this background that the signing of this MoU is fulfilling. A corrupt-free Zimbabwe is achievable and together we will achieve more.”
ZRP Deputy Commissioner-General Stephen Mutamba commended the move and said the event should not just be a formality but must bear fruit.
“The MOUs should not just remain a talk-show, the ZRP reassures delegates that we will go out of our way to ensure its fruition for the benefit of the citizenry of Zimbabwe where we draw our mandate from.”