New law to curb corruption welcome

Source: New law to curb corruption welcome | The Herald May 17, 2016

Mukachana Hanyani Correspondent

Corruption has reached a boiling point to the extent that those who were supposed to guard against it find themselves being the main culprits. Both top and junior members in Government and even in the private sector have developed an art of making quick money through corrupt means.

The news that Government is working on a new law to be called Public Sector Corporate Governance Act (PSCGA) meant to curb the scourge of corruption in the public sector, is a most welcome move that will bring sanity in the economy.

Zimbabweans have been suffering a lot as the economy has been left to bleed because of the corrupt tendencies by those in public sector, especially in parastatals.

While there has been an outcry from both Government and the private sector condemning the sanctions imposed on the country by Western countries, more than a decade ago as the cause of the economic malaise in , there has been considerable concern about the impact of corruption on the economy.

In fact, corruption is seen as abetting those sanctions.

With European Union (EU) having lifted some of the sanctions which have been destroying the economy, Zimbabweans expected economic situations to recover, but such expectations have been blocked by corruption and shoddy deals by some bigwigs in Government and parastatals.

Corruption has taken over from where the sanctions left. So the new law meant to deal with corruption should be enacted as soon as possible to bring sanity in the economy.

Most companies which have been put under sanctions by the EU could have been now showing signs of recovery as reactions to their removal from economic embargo, but such expectations have come to nought because of corruption.

Zimbabweans welcomed the lifting of sanctions by the EU in the belief that economic problems would come to an end, yet those architects of corruption went on to destroy the economy through their economic shenanigans. They have been using any economic trick at their disposal as a means to get quick money through corrupt means.

It is true and well documented that sanctions played a role in destroying the economic fortunes of Zimbabwe and the removal of such sanctions by the EU brought relief to the suffering public. However, such a belief that the removal of sanctions could bring relief to the economic problems of Zimbabwe was dented by the scourge of corruption which seems to have replaced those sanctions as the devil in the process to revive some economic fortunes of the country.

Corruption has reached a boiling point to the extent that those who are supposed to guard against it find themselves being the main culprits. Both top and junior officials in Government and even in the private sector have developed an art of making quick money through corrupt means.

Those seeking employment in various Government departments find it difficult to get employed when one has paid nothing to those in the employment departments. Even for someone to get a simple driver`s license is a nightmare if one does not corruptly pay for to those involved in issuing such important documents. Corruption has even taken its toll in any working environment where even promotions of an individual can only be done when one is close to the responsible authorities.

Sometimes promotions of workers comes with one showering top management with either gifts or money. Such is how corruption has affected the country.

Incessant reports of alleged top Government officials who have been asking for bribes in the event that some foreign investors would be coming to invest in the country have been doing the rounds.

In some instances it is cumbersome for one to register a company in the country. It is not easy for one to register such a company as one undergoes tiresome processes that call for a bribe to be paid so that the company is registered.

Further allegations are that the country has been deprived of foreign direct investment because those handling departments which call for some investors to have proper registrations of their companies to operate in the country make sure that they are paid kickbacks for the registrations of such companies to materialise.

Now that the Government has decided to enact a law that would deal decisively with corruption in both Government and parastatals, it will be possible to create a corrupt free country which could attract foreign investors to come into the country.

The Government must also make sure that the new law clearly spell out how those who would be caught on the wrong side of the law would be punished. Ambiguous laws which have no clear-cut punishment procedures would not be necessary in this country which is reeling under heavy economic problems caused by both sanctions and corruption.

People need to see change taking place on how Government is going to deal with those caught on the wrong side of corruption. Some parastatals and other Government departments have been failing to operate efficiently because most individuals spend their time trying to make cheap and quick money through corrupt activities.

So the law if enacted should not be discriminatory, but it should start the ball rolling by even targeting bigwigs who have been fleecing the economy of the country to its knees through their corrupt activities.

For that reasons, Zimbabweans should applaud the recent events that saw the suspension of the Commissioner-General of Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), Gershom Pasi and five executive managers of Zimra by the Board chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe, over allegations of mishandling of importations of vehicles in that parastatal.

Such a move taken by the Zimra chairperson should be applauded as the department has been failing to lead by example in making sure that revenue is collected effectively for Government benefit. Although people would say that one is innocent until proven guilty, the move taken by the Zimra board is welcome as this also shows the world that Zimbabwe does not tolerate corruption.

In fact the move taken by the Zimra board should be also be emulated by other parastatal boards so as to bring sanity in all these quasi Government departments.

Almost all parastatals in the country are not operating as expected because of alleged corrupt tendencies by their top and middle management, hence investigations should be carried out in order to unearth corruption from within those parastatals.

As I write, some National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) workers are on strike for non-payment of salaries for more than ten months, yet top management there is alleged to have been paying each other substantial salaries, leaving junior workers to work for peanuts. Of late some parastatals similar to NRZ like Zimbabwe Passenger Company (ZUPCO), Grain Marketing Board (GMB), Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) and others have been failing to monthly pay workers’ salaries, yet top management has been paying each other salaries ranging from ten thousand dollars to more than hundred thousand dollars per month compared to an average of a mere one hundred and fifty dollars for a junior worker in those parastatals.

For that reason, that new law, the PSCGA, meant to deal with corruption must also address some anomalies in salaries given to top management versus those given to junior workers, so that there is no salary irregularities in any parastatal and Government departments.

Corruption can be eradicated through a combination of Government and those given the mandate to deal with it decisively.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 5
  • comment-avatar
    TJINGABABILI 6 years ago

    LAW IS NOT THE ANSWER! YOU NEED MEN AND woMEN OF INTEGRITY. AND THERE IS NONE IN ZANUPF !!!!!!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    mandevu 6 years ago

    The sanctions imposed on Zanu PF individuals has no role at all in the chronic economic circumstances we find ourselves in. The culprits are theft and mismanagement

  • comment-avatar
    Tongogara 6 years ago

    Why waste time beating about the bush. Fish always rot from the head. Stop being apologists. Laws to arrest culprits already exist so stop fooling yourself.

  • comment-avatar
    Roberta Mugarbage 6 years ago

    To implement this new law, it will be necessary to pay a ‘select group’ of supervisors ‘enough’ to ensure ‘their integrity’. A new wagon on the gravy train.
    Embrace indigenisation and keep on voting ZANUUU!

  • comment-avatar
    Muchadura 6 years ago

    Existing laws are enough to curb corruption, only that NOBODY is. following them. This is an unnecessary sideshow.