Resources splurged on posh lifestyles

Source: Resources splurged on posh lifestyles | The Herald September 16, 2016

Felex Share : Senior Reporter

GOVERNMENT’S economic recovery programmes are being hindered by officials using public finances to support luxurious lifestyles, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday. He said there was need for Government to develop robust systems and deal decisively with corrupt elements.Acting President Mnangagwa made the remarks when he addressed delegates at the Zimbabwe Anti-bribery, Anti-corruption and Risk Management conference in Harare.

“People entrusted with positions of authority who engage in dishonest and unethical practices for personal aggrandisement do not deserve an inch of space in our society,” he said.

“An insight for us all therefore is that public finances should never be used to support luxurious lifestyles at the expense of the economy and the social needs of the poor. As highlighted by His Excellency the President, in his address to Parliament on 25 August, 2015, the success of our economic recovery programmes are underpinned by how the country fights corruption.”

The Acting President added: “Whilst there is no consensus on its causes, extant literature seems to point to weak institutions that fail to hold those that practise corruption accountable as the main reason for its perpetuity. While not letting the corrupt people off the hook, I believe that we should place more emphasis in building capacity in internal control systems in our parastatals, state enterprises, Government Ministries, Non-Governmental Organisations and private sector companies, among other entities. The fight against corruption and its prevention requires a new paradigm, where we shift focus to building attitudes, consciousness and enlightenment of people about it and its effects on the economy and the well-being of the current and future generations.”

He said excessive bureaucracy in Government and various institutions was fueling the operations of ‘intermediary-rent seeking middlemen”.

“Corruption slows down the growth and development of a country as it discourages hard working entrepreneurs and affects the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment into the country,” Acting President Mnangagwa said.

“Corruption in a way acts as an implicit tax on investors. Costs are associated with negotiation and paying bribes to intermediaries normally add up large amounts with investors giving up projects that ordinarily would have been profitably undertaken creating jobs for the youths and women. Moreover, corruption has an adverse effect on income distribution resulting in high-socio-economic inequalities among citizens and general poverty amongst many. It is the poor that cannot pay bribes or establish connections with the powerful that are most affected.”

Acting President Mnangagwa said corruption-gained income was spent in secrecy and normally outside the country leading to capital flight.

“Corruption affects country stability as the regulatory role of Government is diminished,” he said.

“To perpetuate corruption, those that gain from such practices always work to weaken existing institutional structures and systems by bribing those responsible for such institutions. Money, excessive gifts, generous entertainment and hospitality are normally offered to those in authority to influence outcomes in favour of the corrupt.”

Acting President Mnangagwa said to show that robust systems were needed, 63 percent of the Ministries audited in 2014 by the Auditor General did not get clean appraisals.

“As such, the nation has to develop robust mechanisms and policies to recognise, understand and respond to the scourge of corruption through a zero tolerance approach to it. The fight against corruption can better be understood if it starts with those at the top. This not only applies to the Government but to all facets of our society, including the private and public sector institutions.”

He said the law was not selective and anyone implicated in corrupt deals would face its full wrath.

“However, there is need to carry out thorough investigations to establish facts behind any allegations,” he said.

“The institutions that deal with issues of corruption and the commission of crimes need to be fully strengthened.”

Acting President Mnangagwa, who chairs the Cabinet Committee on Food Security and Nutrition cluster, said the $500 million command agriculture programme being introduced this year would have no leakages across supply, distribution, processing and market value chains.

“Thus, the implementation pitfalls identified with previous agricultural programmes are being addressed at both planning, implementation and evaluative levels by putting in place responsive internal control mechanisms so that the programme becomes a success.”

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 2
  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 6 years ago

    The acting president is part of the CORRUPT system……………. I find it difficult to swallow his utterances.

  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    He should be well placed to investigate whether the road to his residence was tarred for his benefit.