Zacc moves to plug loopholes

Source: Zacc moves to plug loopholes | Sunday Mail (Top Stories)

Brian Chitemba

THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) is on the verge of adopting a National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) which will pave way for a multi-pronged approach, through the establishment of tight mechanisms in which the commission will join operations with other law enforcement agencies and the public to fight graft.

The new strategy is set to be unveiled by President Emmerson Mnangagwa upon his return from a three-week sabbatical that began last week.

The Second Republic has declared zero tolerance to corruption, which has been blamed for negatively affecting the economy. Zacc spokesman Commissioner John Makamure said the strategy provides avenues for Government agencies to combine efforts against graft.

He said some of the public institutions responsible for fighting corruption would also be cleansed.

“The strategy signals Government’s commitment to take the anti-corruption fight to another level. Zacc realises the importance of adopting a partnership approach to mobilise all sectors to fight corruption together,” he said.

“The key strategic partners of the commission are the Government agencies. All heads of Government agencies should appreciate that it is their solemn responsibility to clean their own house.

“Other important partners include the business community, professional bodies, civil society in its various shapes and sizes and community organisations, educational institutions, mass media and international organisations.”

“Zacc would like to emulate the example of South Korea where the public sector, the business sector and civil society joined hands in forming a coalition called Korea-PACT. Over 800 organisations signed the PACT and undertook to implement the agreed action plan. The progress was reviewed annually by an international evaluation team.”

Comm Makamure said the anti-corruption strategy was a commitment by stakeholders against corruption, which also usher in a new culture of ethical behaviour and accountability in governance in both business and civil society.

“It will also signal a commitment by those in positions of power to act with integrity, while inculcating a society where citizens are aware of their rights and responsibilities, respect the rule of law and are empowered to hold those in power to account,” said Comm Makamure.

Zacc, he said, was excited about the development of the NACS, considering the dismal performance of previous commissions to draw up such a working plan.

The strategy was a result of a comprehensive consultative process across the country’s 10 provinces in November and December 2019.

He said NACS was birthed out of an inclusive process in line with the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) anti-corruption protocols that Zimbabwe is a signatory to.

Zacc was motivated to develop the strategy due to high levels of corruption despite laws which clearly outline ways of dealing with financial management and procurement, said Comm Makamure.

There have been several procurement scandals mostly in parastatals such as Zesa Holdings and the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara).

As part of the anti-corruption strategy, an effective public complaint system will be established for easy reporting of corruption cases by the public.

The cases will be dealt with promptly as there will be an investigating team readily on standby to probe graft allegations.

Comm Makamure also explained that the new strategy would introduce robust ways of checking compliance issues in both public and private companies to enforce adherence to governance issues.

“The commission is for the people. So as long as there is reasonable suspicion, all reports of corruption, irrespective of whether it is serious or relatively minor in nature, will have to be properly investigated,” he said.

“A checks and balance system to ensure all investigations are professionally and promptly investigated, and free from political interference will be a component of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy,” he said.

Recently, Zacc chair Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said the fight against graft would see the net closing in on ministers, judges, Members of Parliament and chief executive officers with 600 dockets having been opened.