By Tapfumanei Muchabaiwa
THE National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) steering committee has rolled out a plan to raise anti-corruption awareness in public and private institutions as it seeks to mobilise support in the fight against corruption.
This came up at the first NACS steering committee meeting chaired by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) boss Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo in Harare last week.
The committee noted that several plans are lined up for this year after a number of 2021 programmes were disturbed by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
“The sub-committee chaired by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission plans to establish anti-corruption functional structures in urban and rural communities and appoint Anti-Corruption champions in different communities, mainstreaming anti-corruption in formal education and also engaging and collaborating with public and private stakeholders in raising anti-corruption awareness,” Matanda-Moyo said.
“The war against corruption is real. The introduction of technology in the fight against corruption has also helped in promoting whistleblowing.”
It was at the same meeting where it was established that there are various impediments such as underfunding and limited capacity for all law enforcement authorities and the NPA in executing investigations, drafting and finally referring matters to the High Court.
The steering committee resolved that going forward, law enforcement agents must be equipped with expert knowledge as part of capacitating them. The commission also decried underfunding.
In a separate interview with the NewsDay Zacc spokesperson commissioner John Makamure said at the launch of the strategy in 2020, the commission was ramping up anti-corruption and a public education exercise.
“We are ramping up this year’s anti-corruption and public awareness. We will be doing this in each province. We started with Masvingo and we are now going to the Midlands,” Makamure said.
“We want to identify anti-corruption champions who are going to volunteer their resources and also spread information. There are officials involved in the distribution of inputs, food aid and land allocation. Zacc will, therefore, empower the anti-corruption champions with information and open up lines of communication to the communities,” he added.
In 2020, Zacc launched the steering committee to establish national consensus on how best to fight corruption, premised on the spirit and principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, which requires member States to develop and implement co-ordinated anti-corruption policies.