Zimbabwe Corruption Media Monitoring Report: More Resources Needed to Fight Corruption in Zimbabwe

Introduction

Zimbabwe is among several countries in the world that have signed and ratified anti-corruption conventions such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the SADC Protocol against Corruption (SADC-PaC) and the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC). The signing of a treaty is an expression of willingness and commitment of the signatory state such as Zimbabwe to continue the treaty-making process and it also creates an obligation to refrain, in good faith, from acts that would defeat the objective and purpose of the treaty. However, by ratifying a treaty, a state indicates its consent to be bound by it. In most cases, states enact the necessary legislation to give domestic effect to the ratified treaty. It is acknowledged that Zimbabwe has put in place legal, policy and institutional arrangements but the challenges are entrenched in the existing gaps of enforcing the same. There is lack of effective investigations and prosecution of corruption and this has become an epidemic nature in the country.

During the period 25 to 30 April 2021, the Zimbabwean media reported several cases of corruption, which means that a day hardly passes without an incident of corruption in the country. That said, ACT-SA committed itself to monitoring the media and identifying the trends of corruption in the country for advocacy purposes.

During the period under review, it was disturbing to note the following:

  • The corruption busters such as the Head of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU), housed in the Office of the President and Cabinet were fingered in corruption;
  • Corruption and service delivery at ZINARA and in local authorities is sickening. Poor service delivery in local authorities is partly attributed to poor performance of the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works who neglected appointing the Local Government Board since 2017. This resulted in unqualified officials taking posts in an acting capacity for many years;
  • Though Harare Magistrate Stanford Mambanje has set the 26th of May 2021 as the trial date for former disgraced Health minister Dr. Obadiah Moyo, who faces a criminal abuse of office charge after he allegedly siphoned US$ 60 million in a botched Covid 19 Personal Protective Equipment deal, delays in the prosecution of high profile individuals remains an issue of concern.
  • The epidemic nature of corruption in the country is well known and the experiences made by the Minister of Home Affairs Kazembe Kazembe on the 29th of April 2021 when he caught Avito Newton (40) red-handed soliciting bribes for and on behalf of passport officers in the employed at the Harare Passport offices is more telling.
  • Allegations of match-fixing levelled against cricket official Heath Streak and confession that he was given a bottle of whisky and an iPhone for his wife gives credence to the allegations of corruption in the sports industry.
  • The prosecution of the former University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura, who is accused of illegally awarding former First Lady Grace Mugabe a PhD degree may open a can of worms especially allegations that the new administration targeted its political opponents for prosecution.

During the same week, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission promised to expedite the preparation of dockets for presentation to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and it is hoped that ZACC will perform and meet the target of 180 criminal dockets for prosecution before year end. However, 180 dockets could be a drop in the ocean as compared to a plethora of cases of corruption being witnessed in the country.

Read the full report here(854KB PDF)

Source: Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa

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