via Sweden: corruption ‘rampant’ in Zimbabwe – New Zimbabwe 06/10/2015
A SWEDISH diplomat has complained bitterly about poor administration of donor funds in Zimbabwe, saying corruption was so “rampant” it was frustrating to continue doing business in the troubled country.
This is the first time that a donor has publicly and frankly spoken on the abuse of funds since last year when there were allegations of misappropriation of aid by some NGOs.
In 2014, there were also reports of the abuse of the Health Transition Fund by top health ministry officials.
Health Transition Fund comes from a pool of western donors and is aimed at improving the country’s health delivery system.
Officiating at the Youth Global Advocacy Conference- Participate 2015 hosted by Youth Empowerment and Transformation Trust (YETT), in Harare Monday deputy ambassador of Sweden Maria Selin said they were frustrated by corruption.
“We are responsible for a lot of money of which tax payer’s money which we invest and when I say invest in Zimbabwe I mean we invest in human development, we invest in poverty reduction and we want to see results of what we do,” she complained.
“We need to go back home and tell our people who are the tax payers that we are making a difference and its worthwhile continuing and of course as Sweden we are committed to development cooperation, but one real enemy of this investment is corruption”.
Ambassador Selin said although corruption is everywhere, in Zimbabwe the scourge was “rampant”.
“We see it all over the world and no doubt about it, but in this country, unfortunately, it is rampant.
“I am saying this because it should not be like that; the money we invest should go to the health care, to the infrastructure, youth friendly services and other programs; that is where it should go”.
According to Transparency International, Zimbabwe remains a highly corrupt nation.
The anti-graft lobby group says this has normalised and institutionalised corruption to the extent of that graft has itself become a survival strategy.
On another note Selin said Sweden was ready to invest and ease the unemployment rate Zimbabwe is experiencing but the unattractive business environment was making it difficult for the international community to risk their investments.
She said delays by government to accurately pronounce its investment laws were holding back investment.
“Economic down turn, we talk a lot about that in Zimbabwe simply because the economy is in a dire stress,” she said.
“But we need to create employment opportunities and for that there has to be an attractive investment climate as well.
“We need to be able to make companies come here and invest because these jobs need to come from somewhere and they need to be in the private sector,” she said.