The success of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy requires a coordinated approach in the fight against corruption

Introduction

The effects of corruption in Zimbabwe manifest through the failed public service delivery, widening unequal distribution of income and wealth and extreme poverty. The fight against corruption must therefore remain a priority for the Government of Zimbabwe if the country is going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the country’s Vision 2030 (Upper-Middle Income Economy by 2030).

The success of anti-corruption efforts is partly hinged on the effective coordination of anti-corruption agencies and stakeholders. However, the diversity of institutions, intersecting mandates, competing agendas, lack of institutional clarity and the varying level of independence makes it extremely difficult for these institutions to coordinate their efforts. Bouckaert et al (2010) define coordination in a public sector inter-organizational context as: “The instruments and mechanisms that aim to enhance the voluntary or forced alignment of tasks and efforts of organizations within the public sector. These mechanisms are used in order to create a greater coherence, and to reduce redundancy, lacunae and contradictions within and between policies, implementation or management.”

One of the reasons why Zimbabwe’s anti-corruption efforts have always been fragmented is the lack of co-ordination amongst the various anti-corruption stakeholders. This has resulted in anti-corruption agents blaming each other for failing to achieve anti-corruption goals. Equally, citizens have at times been unclear as to where to direct their corruption related concerns. It is therefore commendable that on the 11th of July 2020, the country adopted its first ever National Anti-corruption Strategy (NACS) which seeks to address inter-alia, the co-ordination of anti-corruption efforts by different stakeholders. The NACS is currently the main framework for coordinating anti-corruption efforts in Zimbabwe. It mandates the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to establish a National Anti-Corruption Strategy Steering Committee (NACSSC). The NACSSC made up of various stakeholders oversees the implementation of the NACS and ensures periodic meetings are held and regular reports are to be made available to the public.

The framework for coordination allows for non-duplication of roles, appropriate use and allocation of resources and overall strengthening of institutions responding to corruption. In conceptualizing this, it is important to understand the key state actors and their roles in the fight against corruption. An effective anti-corruption intervention requires strategic coordination with clearly laid out objectives, understanding of stakeholder’s roles and levels of influence as well as the allocation of resources to advance the fight against corruption. It is against this background that this week’s Weekend Digest looks at the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and explores the role of the main state anti-corruption agencies in the fight against corruption.

Source: Transparency International Zimbabwe

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