……….. Comes up with an Index to measure corruption.
…………ZACC becomes a decentralized entity.
By Nevson Mpofu
Every year, the 9th of December marks International Anti-Corruption Day. This comes awake of the fact that corruption in all its aggressive forms continues to wreak havoc of economic disintegration in this World. This year’s theme is ‘’Recover with integrity to build forward better.’’
Due to corruption’s deterioration of the equality fabric of many countries giving a burden to the poor and vulnerable societies eager to live a fair and just World, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention Against Corruption [UNCAC] on October 31 2003.
The day was designated by the General Assembly on 9 December the day a country like Zimbabwe signatory to the convention takes seriously to give awareness of corruption and the role of the convention in combating and preventing corruption.
In a bid to raise massive awareness vehemently on ground to create a fair playing field, Zimbabwe is in the process of crafting an index so as to manage corruption activities which to an extent have under-mined rights of its people who strive to see and feel a fair, justice country of economic growth and development at all levels.
Addressing members of the media and distinguished guests in Harare on this particular commemoration day 9 December, Acting Secretary of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission Ms C Matumbi pointed out that the country is in a move to come up with an index designed to monitor progress of corruption from the past unto this time as the corruption battle rages on.
‘’Zimbabwe is in the process of coming up with an index so as to monitor, record progress in terms of corruption from the past up to now. Corrosive effects of corruption reverse hard won developmental gains, threaten progress, stability and development of the continent ‘’.
‘’Let us take a listen to a quote by the late former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan who said ‘’ corruption undermine the core fabric of a fair society, government’s ability to provide basic services. It promotes inequality, in-justice and discourages foreign investments’’ , he expressed .
‘’Corruption is standing in the way of sustainable development. It results in inequalities in society a factor that undermines the rights of citizens to a fairly governed country. Resources of a given country are plundered at the expense of those innocent. As a country we now have to decentralize Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission in 10 [TEN] provinces of the country’’
United Nations estimates that the World is losing USD $3,6 trillion from corruption. Developing countries according to the estimation lose about $1 ,26 trillion annually. Business and individuals are estimated to pay USD 1 trillion in bribes to public officials while USD 2,6 trillion was stolen due to other corruptive activities. Zimbabwe is said to be losing about USD$684 million due to illicit financial flows.
The United Nations Development Program estimates that 10 times of funds lost to the use of corruption in developing countries could be used for the purpose of development.
‘’ It is sad to note that corruption hits hard on the ordinary citizens who are often more reliant on public goods and services and limited means to look for alternative private services. It is sad also to note that they lack resources to defend themselves and seek reparations.
‘’this year’s theme ‘’Recover with integrity to build forward better’’ emphasizes the urgent need for countries to ensure that anti-corruption is an integral part of all sustainable development efforts, to end poverty and foster resilient and inclusive institutions and societies’’
‘’Zimbabwe has continuously elevated progress in fighting corruption since the ratification and adoption of UNCAC by participating in both the review mechanisms provided by the convention. It participated in 2011 and 2019 in the second review cycles of the implementation of the convention against corruption chapters on criminalization, preventive measures, law enforcement and asset recovery.’’ Deputy Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission Commissioner K Murapa stresses a valid point.
In the 2020 statement UNDP has stated that ‘’Recover with integrity highlights that only putting effective corruption mitigation measures in place will better a nation in massive corruption. Collective action is seen as important in countries of the World reeling under hard effects of corruption in all its forms.
In effort to further combat all forms of corruption Zimbabwe adopted several pieces of legislation to ensure compliance with provisions of the UNCAC. The constitution of Zimbabwe amendment number 20 Act 2013 includes issues of transparency and good governance. The Money laundering and proceeds of crime Act of 2013 has established a Financial Intelligence Unit, Recovered Asset Fund and an Asset Management Unit.
Other Acts include the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act of 2018 for transparency and accountability. It also came with the Public Procurement and disposal of Public Assets Act of 2017. It addresses corruption and abuse of functions in the procurement sector. The National Prosecuting Authority Act of 2014 establishes an independent prosecuting Authority among others. The Finance Act of 2018 has established the public finance technical response unity under the Accountant General for the purpose of recovering misappropriated wealth and institution of criminal proceedings in cases where red flags were raised by the Accountant General.