Corruption in Zimbabwe has been institutionalised in both the public and private sectors and therefore fighting it is a very big challenge. The leadership in both the public and private sectors have repeatedly warned workers to refrain from engaging in corruption but it seems no one is taking heed given the level of corruption.
The cancer of corruption has permeated all levels of society to the extent that some individuals now believe engaging in corruption is an acceptable way of conducting business.
People are being asked to pay for services that should be free and police officers at roadblocks are demanding bribes from motorists. The safety of passengers especially of public vehicles such as buses is compromised because police allow unroadworthy buses to pass through roadblocks after being paid bribes.
Individuals that want to jump queues at places such as the Passport Office pay bribes to officials. The government is being prejudiced of millions of dollars in duty at the country’s borders as individuals that are supposed to pay duty for imported goods pay bribes to officials.
Corruption apart from prejudicing the government of money, compromises services delivery. In the private sector companies are also losing millions of dollars as a result of corruption.
There are now thieving networks at different companies and in some cases managers are conniving with their subordinates to steal from the company.
Tenders in both the public and private sectors are being awarded to those companies that are prepared to pay bribes. These companies that win tenders are at times told to inflate their quotations in order to raise the bribe money.
The government has since independence come up with various mechanisms to fight corruption and this has seen thousands of individuals being arrested and some of them have been jailed.
On Friday Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the anti-corruption green card that will be distributed to members of the public to promote the culture of whistle-blowing.
The anti- corruption campaign dubbed “Against Corruption Together” implores all citizens to play their role in fighting graft. The card is inscribed “0% NO CORRUPTION” and has contact numbers of The Attorney General’s Office, Judicial Service Commission, Law Society of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
The other contacts are that of the National Prosecuting Authority, Zimbabwe Anti- Corruption Commission, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services and the Zimbabwe Republic Police. The card is meant to enable an individual asked to pay a bribe to flash the card on the perpetrator’s face before calling the numbers provided.
Launching the campaign, Cde Mnangagwa who also oversees the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, said not a single day passes without his office receiving one or two complaints against corrupt legal officials.
The Vice President urged the legal profession to stand up and share the responsibility of combating corruption.
“Corruption will be hard to beat and could even become more widespread if the legal profession maintains business as usual mindset towards it,” said Cde Mnangagwa.
Judicial Service Commission acting secretary Justice Rita Makarau said it was everyone’s responsibility to fight corruption.
Members of the public can get the card at the courts and at the offices of all the stakeholders mentioned above. We want to urge members of the public to use this card which, in our opinion, is a very powerful tool to expose corrupt individuals.