COMMENT: Anti-corruption stance is not just political rhetoric

12 Aug, 2020 - 00:08 0 Views
COMMENT: Anti-corruption stance is not just political rhetoric

The Chronicle

FIGHTING corruption has always been at the top of the national agenda ever since President Mnangagwa took over the reins in November 2017.

In a short space of time, a number of milestones have been achieved in the anti-graft fight that would have never been possible in the first Republic.

In May 2018, President Mnangagwa established a Special Anti-Corruption Unit housed in the Office of the President and Cabinet to improve efficiency in the fight against all forms of graft and to strengthen the effectiveness of national mechanisms for the prevention of corruption.

The unit’s terms of reference include collaborating with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and other such institutions in the fight against corruption, assist Zacc and other investigative agencies of the State in the perusal and consideration of corruption dockets, subject to the issuance of Authority to Prosecute by the Prosecutor General, to prosecute corruption cases referred to the National Prosecuting Authority by investigative agencies.

On July 11 this year, the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (Nacs) was officially launched by President Mnangagwa, and coincided with the commemoration of the African Anti-Corruption Day, whose theme was:

“Fighting Corruption through Effective and Efficient Judicial Systems.”

To prove that his anti-corruption stance is not just political rhetoric, the President has put in place a new culture that has seen top Government officials finding themselves behind bars.

Some of the top Government officials who have been nailed for engaging in corrupt activities are former director of State residences Douglas Tapfuma, former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge, former Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira and ex-permanent secretary in the Ministry of Public Service and Social Welfare Ngoni Masoka.

Tapfuma has already been jailed for four years for criminal abuse of office after he allegedly imported a fleet of vehicles without paying duty, while Undenge, who was accused of prejudicing the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of $12 650, was sentenced to an effective two-and-a-half years in prison.

Last month, the anti-graft crusade claimed the scalp of Dr Obadiah Moyo, the former Health and Child Care Minister, who is allegedly embroiled in shady drug procurement dealings involving millions of dollars.

In his Heroes Day address broadcast live from State House in Harare on Monday, President Mnangagwa reiterated his administration’s unwavering fight against corruption, saying the door to graft has been shut warning that those who want to pursue that route would face dire consequences.

“The Second Republic has, since its inception, accelerated the entrenchment and consolidation of democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law in pursuit of social justice and equal opportunities for the economic empowerment of the previously marginalised majority,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Informed by a cardinal ethos during the liberation struggle, the 2nd Republic’s thrust in the fight against corruption is unwavering. My administration therefore makes no apologies for fixing our systems across the socio, economic and political spectrum. Accountability and transparency will keep on being enforced in every facet of our society. The door to the old manner of doing things is closed. The corrupt way is shut and those who choose that route will face dire consequences.”

Previously, the Head of State has appealed to members of the public to support the war against corruption, saying it is not Government’s responsibility alone.

We urge Zimbabweans not to be hoodwinked by external players calling for illegal demonstrations under the guise of “anti-corruption”. Let’s fight corruption together as a nation.

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