BY PRIVILEGE GUMBODETE
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) says it is developing a local corruption perception index (CPI) after global rankings by anti-occupation watchdogs showed that graft was endemic in the country.
Transparency International CPI ranks Zimbabwe at 157 out of the 180 countries surveyed in 2020, having scored 24% in the fight against corruption.
Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo stopped short of dismissing the Transparency International rankings on Zimbabwe as she revealed that the commission is now formulating its own CPI.
“The commission also commenced gathering the views of Zimbabwean citizens in order to come up with a home-grown Corruption Perception Index (CPI),” Matanda-Moyo said in a statement.
“While we do not entirely dispute the Transparency International CPI, we are convinced that gathering views of our citizens across the board will go a long way in helping us come up with more informed strategies in the fight against corruption.”
Transparency International, a global corruption indicator formed in 1995, ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.
In early December, Matanda-Moyo admitted that Zimbabwe’s current rating on the Transparency International CPI was affecting President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s investment drive.
“Notwithstanding or disregarding the Transparency International CPI, as a nation we have taken a step further to develop our own CPI. The local CPI will complement the efforts of the Transparency International CPI and counter weaknesses so as to have a balanced outcome,” she said.
Zimbabwe has experienced widespread corruption in virtually all sectors of the economy.
Since independence, there have been several allegations of corruption in the areas of public procurement, land acquisitions, housing for civil servants, public works, social welfare, mining, the health, and education sectors.
Analysts have said there is no appetite from Zacc and the political leadership to convict top government officials and ministers involved in corruption.
But Matanda-Moyo said Zacc could not be blamed for failure to secure conviction as the anti-corruption body had no prosecuting powers. On Tuesday, the Zacc chairperson said the commission submitted 180 dockets to Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi for prosecution in 2021 alone, but there were less than 10 convictions.