Zanu-PF National Consultative Assembly members have called for decisive action against Government officials and party cadres engaging in corruption and amassing wealth at a time the economy is severely strangled.
They observed that the media had been awash with several reports of financial impropriety by Government officials.
The NCA members made the plea on Friday during its meeting at the Zanu-PF headquarters in Harare, responding to a report by Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa, on the state of the economy and measures Government was implementing to address the challenges.
Mashonaland East party member, Cde Jerry Gotora, said it was time that authorities took the bull by its horns.
“People are living lives that are not consistent with their salaries. Some are building houses in Mount Pleasant and other such posh suburbs in Borrowdale even adjacent to your residence, Your Excellency. It is high time that action is taken. There is an adage that says when you want to stab your relative, just close your eyes and strike him. This is what we need to do Your Excellency,” said Cde Gotora.
Cde Gotora suggested that Government should set up a commission to investigate corruption reporting directly to the President.
Another NCA member, Cde Tendai Zinyemba said the media has been exposing corruption for a while and it was time action was taken.
“We read about corruption almost on a daily basis, but we do not see any action being taken. We have the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, but we hear that it is also fingered in corrupt activities,” said Cde Zinyemba.
Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Mandi Chimene supported the idea of a committee being set up to investigate corruption reporting to the President.
In the event such a commission is set up, Cde Chimene implored the President to include her considering her training and background. Minister Chinamasa said given his experience as former Attorney General, corruption cases were difficult to investigate and prosecute because both parties would have benefited.
He said those who come to report would have been short-changed in a deal that would have gone sour.
“Another problem is that we get someone giving us information, but is not prepared to be a witness in court. That information is useless when you are not prepared to be used as a witness. The other issue is that some of the reports we get are mere rumours,” said Minister Chinamasa.
He said they had put 40 corporate entities on surveillance to monitor their cash deposits trends in the wake of reports that some firms were not banking their daily takings thereby creating cash shortages in the economy.
Minister Chinamasa said he directed Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to come up with ways to collect tax from the informal sector where major economic players had migrated.
“zimra must increase its tax base. As you know the formal sector has collapsed and we now have the informal sector,” said Minister Chinamasa.
He said they had come up with a priority list in the allocation of foreign exchange which include raw materials imports, local producers and those involved in import substitution. herald