via Zacc turns away whistleblowers – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 21, 2015
The absence of commissioners at the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has impacted negatively on the fight against corruption, as the commission continues to turn away whistleblowers, with the latest being a group of vendors who had sought audience with Zacc over corruption by municipal police officers.
by Own Correspondent
The Zacc secretariat has been in limbo since August 2013 when the terms of previous commissioners expired.
Since then, the commission has been referring cases brought to it by whistleblowers to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
Early this month, the National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe (Navuz) wrote to Zacc requesting the commission’s assistance in weeding out corrupt council officials who are allegedly milking vendors of their hard-earned cash by demanding bribes.
A Zacc official confirmed that Navuz had requested their service, but were told that due to the absence of commissioners, there was nothing Zacc could do.
A letter written to Navuz and signed by the acting secretary to the commission, Sandra Nhau, highlighted that Zacc was incapacitated to deal with cases of corruption.
The letter shows that Navuz had made a request to work “in partnership with Zacc to combat vending related corruption nationwide”.
“We welcome the idea, but currently, we are still awaiting the appointment of the commissioners. Further to that, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission secretariat is seized with other strategic issues that it is focusing on. We, however, recommend that you proceed with your scheduled activities (to fight corruption) until such time that we are through with our commitments,” the letter read in part.
Navuz chairperson Sten Zvorwadza, however, said that they would work in partnership with the police to expose corrupt elements at Harare City Council as well is in other areas around the country.
He bemoaned that vendors were at the mercy of corrupt council officials, who demand bribes so they could allow vendors to operate freely.
“The little income that vendors are getting is now being taken by municipal police officers, who are demanding bribes. Last week, we set up a trap for some of them working in conjunction with the ZRP and five municipal police officers were arrested.
“If the vendors agree to pay the bribes, they will be spared, but if they refuse, the municipal police will make sure that they make life difficult for the vendors,” Zvorwadza said.