Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has confirmed that about 60 percent of cases it was handling were being committed by public officials, and has since urged all civil servants to report cases of corruption as part of their duties.
It said failure to report the cases will amount to a criminal charge and an act of misconduct.
ZACC is investigating over 800 cases of corruption-related crimes emanating from a wide spectrum of the economy.
Yesterday, ZACC and the Public Service Commission (PSC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to assist each other in investigating some of the cases.
The MoU was signed between ZACC chairperson, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo and PSC chairman Dr Vincent Hungwe in Harare.
Speaking during the ceremony, Justice Matanda-Moyo said PSC as the employer of civil service officials was responsible for their appointment, disciplinary measures and implementation of measures to ensure effective and efficient performance within the Civil Service and advising the President on any matters relating to the civil service.
“This memorandum of understanding we are signing today is not only being done to fulfil our intentional obligations under the UNAC (United Nations Convention Against Corruption),” she said.
“It is about a creation of a relationship that will assist in the formation of systems that adhere to good corporate governance, ensure a high standard of service delivery and increased public confidence of the public sector.
“The Commission is currently seized with matters involving the members of the civil service facing charges of abuse of duty, fraud, corruption and theft, among others. Cases of abuse of duty by public officials constitute 60 percent of the cases reported to the commission.
“It is, therefore, important for the commission to establish areas of collaboration with the PSC to assist in the exchange of information pertaining public officials under investigations to ensure parallel disciplinary measures are activated for these officials.”
Justice Matanda-Moyo said the cooperation would include exchange of other general information regarding qualification verifications and performance agreements, which may assist during the course of investigations, public education and compliance checks.
She said the commission under the MoU was also envisaging collaboration in areas of conducting compliance checks and systems reviews on policies, practices and procedures which include among others, policies on recruitment, advancement, training, conflict of interest and declaration of assets for all officers within ministries.
“Most importantly, collaboration in the creation of integrity committees in all ministries and anti-corruption training of all civil servants including ministers and permanent secretaries,” she said.
“We expect all public officials to report corruption as part of their duties and failure to do so should amount to a criminal charge and an act of misconduct.
“The importance of creating synergies for fighting corruption locally cannot be overemphasized. Corruption is a complex and global social phenomenon that can never be fought in isolation.
“It poses a great threat to the security of the country as it undermines the independence of key institutions and the rule of law.
‘‘ I therefore, takes a joint effort at all levels to win the fight against this menace,” she said.
Dr Hungwe welcomed the developments and said the MoU would go a long way in assisting them get rid matters of crime and corruption.
He said of late, civil servants had been accused of having a no-result oriented culture and of also not respecting the basic principles of accountability and governance.
The ceremony was attended by senior officials from both ZACC and the PSC.