Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday held an anti-corruption awareness campaign in Umguza district meant to empower and encourage members of the public to report corrupt activities.
The awareness campaign meeting was at Ngama Beer Garden under Chief Deli.
Villagers who spoke to Chronicle said corruption was now a cancer which needs to be eradicated.
“I am so happy with what Zacc did by coming down to us.
They fully explained our rights and what we must do when things are being done offline.
Corruption is now a cancer that is crippling our economy and as rural people we thought only the police were supposed to fight corruption.
After this meeting with Zacc officials, we now know that all of us have a duty to stop corruption,” said Mr Zwelitsha Masuku from Ward 14.
Another villager, Mr Moses Moyo from Ward 19 said after what they learnt from Zacc officials, they are now able to recognise corrupt activities and know what to do to raise the red flag.
“People were in the dark as to what to do when they realised someone was engaging in corruption.
“We are now able to challenge such people and bring order to our society,” said Mr Moyo.
Zacc Commissioner Gabriel Chaibva was not happy that Umguza Rural District Council officials and police snubbed the event.
In attendance was Chief Deli, two councillors as well as members of the public.
During a question-and-answer session, villagers informed the Zacc team that they have been losing cattle to thieves at an alarming rate.
They said the “arrests” are either stage managed or dockets disappear despite the alleged cattle rustlers having led villagers to where they would have slaughtered the beasts.
The villagers said a few days after the arrest of the suspects, they are released from custody and thereafter dockets disappear.
“I am not happy as I stand before you here.
I don’t even know the reason behind the absence of the police here,” said Commissioner Chaibva.
Speaking in an interview after his address, Comm Chaibva said the absence of Umguza Rural District Council officials could be linked to ongoing investigations by the anti-graft body, adding that the Commission will nevertheless not lose focus.
Recently, the Zacc compliance and systems review committee besieged Umguza Rural District Council offices to investigate some irregularities.
“I am fully aware that our compliance and systems review team was recently here so maybe they are unhappy that we are investigating them.
They didn’t even send an apology,” said Comm Chaibva.
Last week, Zacc held public awareness campaign meetings in Tsholotsho, Binga, Hwange and Lupane districts.
The Commission in 2019 resolved to embark on a national anti-corruption awareness campaigns to educate members of the public on the importance of fighting corruption in their respective areas.
“What I can assure you and the rest of Zimbabweans is that we will continue to educate members of the public on the importance of fighting corruption which include reporting it to authorities.
Our programme of action is what we are implementing now,” said Comm Chaibva.