The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) welcomes the new Commissioners of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) but urges them to work independently and without fear or favour.
Mr. David Jamali, the ACT-SA Chairperson expressed his organisation’s appreciation but warns that the new Commissioners should produce results and that the results will be used to measure their performance.
“We are now happy that at least ZACC will be functional with the Chairperson and Commissioners, after a very long time. The Commission now needs adequate resources to take the corruption fight to another level. The people of Zimbabwe have suffered far too long because of corruption. ZACC, this time around, should turnaround the situation by fighting corruption independently and without fear or favour” he says.
On the other side, Mr. Obert Chinhamo, the ACT-SA Director decried that corruption may appear difficult tackle because of the behaviour of ZACC. It should not work alone, but should bring together all stakeholders to form a huge force against corruption. Mr. Chinhamo pointed out that the lack of a national anti-corruption strategy is the source of the problem. He said that Zimbabwe does not need just a ZACC anti-corruption strategy and action plan but a national anti-corruption strategy and plan developed and owned by all the people of Zimbabwe which gives all of them a role to play in the fight against corruption.
“The challenge in Zimbabwe and other countries in Africa is that you see anti-corruption commissions such as ZACC organising a strategic planning workshop on their own as staff, commissioners and a few stakeholders close to them for the purposes of crafting an anti-corruption strategy. That will be perceived as a ZACC strategy and not as a national strategy. What is needed is a national anti-corruption strategy and action plan, developed through an inclusive and participatory process bringing all key stakeholders together and giving them a role to play. That way, the fight against corruption is not going to the preserve of ZACC alone but everyone’s responsibility, including traditional leaders, the private sector, women, the youth and civil society organisations among others. The fact that the country itself has no national anti-corruption strategy and plan pose a national threat. The lack thereof, means that the fight against corruption is haphazard, adhoc and disjointed. This was the case before and has been a lot like stabbing in the dark. I would urge the ZACC Chairperson, its Commissioners and staff to seriously consider leading the process towards a national anti-corruption strategy” he says.
In addition to the above, ACT-SA made the following recommendations to strengthen anti-corruption in Zimbabwe:
1. Recommendations to ZACC
- Consider taking a leading role towards the development and implementation of an all-inclusive anti-corruption strategy and action plan for the country
- Expedite the investigation and preparation of dockets for the prosecution of corruption
- Decentralise ZACC offices country-wide. ZACC has not physical presence country-wide and this undermines its activities
- Training ZACC officers on the effective investigation and compilation of dockets
- Develop a blacklist of individuals and corporates convicted of corruption
2. Recommendations to the Executive
- Support the development and implementation of an all-inclusive national anti-corruption strategy and action plan
- Attend to all cases of interference into the operations of the police, ZACC and JSC when it comes to the investigation and prosecution of corruption.
3. Recommendations to the Treasury
- Provide resources towards the development and implementation of a national anti-corruption strategy and action plan
- Provide adequate resources to ZACC, ZRP and Anti-Corruption Courts under the Judicial Service Commission.
4. Recommendations to the Judicial Service Commission
- Training Magistrates and Judges on effective handling of corruption cases
5. Recommendations to the Prosecutor General
- Expedite the prosecution of high profile and other corruption cases in the country.
- Training prosecutors on effective prosecution of corruption cases
6. Recommendations to the Parliament of Zimbabwe
- Work towards the development and enactment of a legislation to protect whistle-blowers.
7. Recommendations to donor countries
- Support the development and implementation of a national anti-corruption strategy and action plan for Zimbabwe;
- Support exchange and learning programmes to enable anti-corruption personnel to learn good practices from other countries in the world;
- Support anti-corruption programmes and projects.
Source: Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa)