Sunday, 11 April 2021

CORRUPTION FIGHT : INTEGRITY PLEDGE FOR MINISTERS

AUTHORITIES are stepping up the ante against graft, after unveiling new measures that will see all public officials — including Cabinet ministers, legislators and senior civil servants — taking an integrity pledge as part of the country’s efforts to fight corruption.

The integrity pledge was adopted last week during a high profile national anti-corruption strategy steering committee meeting of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), which was held in Harare.

This comes as Zacc has also signed agreements with law enforcement agencies in a number of countries, including some well-known tax heavens around the world, as it bids to recover millions of United States dollars stashed outside the country.

“As part of measures to prevent corruption of employees in the private and public sector, members of Parliament and political parties will be required to commit to the principles of integrity and accountability.

“After committing, if anyone then engages in unethical conduct Zacc will hold you accountable.

“This is part of our corruption prevention strategy and the high-level steering committee will oversee implementation of the strategy and ensure that all necessary statutes are enacted,” Zacc spokesperson, John Makamure told the Daily News On Sunday yesterday.

The integrity pledge binds people to practice good governance based on transparency, accountability and fairness.

Some of its underpinning beliefs are that corruption is a major obstacle to the economic, political and social development of the country, and that all stakeholders such as the government, public sector, private sector, political parties and the citizenry have a role to play in combating corruption.

“Realising that corruption in political systems fundamentally undermines integrity of political office and democratic political office and democratic political process … political parties and and their members pledge to observe the principles of honesty, integrity, ethical conduct and accountability including not accepting or giving bribes or being involved in any corrupt practices

“To observe principles of honesty, integrity, ethical conduct and accountability, to promote awareness in the fight against corruption and promote integrity in key issues, to follow probity and the rule of law and zero tolerance to all forms of corruption,” the integrity pledge reads in part.

This comes as graft has been cited as one of the major problems hindering the stability and development of Zimbabwe’s economy.

In the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2020, Zimbabwe is ranked 157 out of 180 countries.

The CPI gives an overview of how businesspeople and experts perceive corruption in the public sector, and this index usually has a direct bearing on foreign direct investment.

This also comes as Zimbabwe’s corruption fight has often been hampered by the duplication of roles among crime-fighting agencies mandated to deal with graft. 

Recently, Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo revealed that friction between her body, the police and the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (Sacu) in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Office was retarding the fight against graft.

In March, police commissioner Erasmus Makodza also told a Harare magistrate court that he was arrested the previous month by Zacc for alleged abuse of office after he declined to withdraw fraud charges against alleged land baron Felix Munyaradzi.

Makodza claimed that Munyaradzi was working with a Zacc investigator and a police officer to nail him and has since lodged a complaint with the police, who are investigating the matter. Daily News

0 comments:

Post a Comment