MPs should declare assets: NGO

HARARE - A non-governmental Organisation has written to Jacob Mudenda, the Speaker of the National Assembly, to push a motion compelling legislators to publicly declare their assets. 

Coalition Against Corruption (Cac), a leading anti-graft pressure group, presented its petition to Mudenda last Thursday.

Cac said in its petition the motion could help curb corruption among legislators.

“Cac believes that such a move will enhance transparency among legislators and curtail them from abusing public funds,” the petition said.

“President Robert Mugabe hinted during the official opening  of the 1st session of 8th  Parliament that previous legislators from the last  Parliament abused the  Constituency Development  Funds (CDF) hence an early move will deter any further abuse of public  funds by the new legislators.

“Cac has confidence in your leadership and believes that you will push for such a noble cause for atonal benefit.“

Zimbabwe legislators sharply differ on declaring property.

Only 25 legislators in the 210-strong 7th Zimbabwe House of Assembly declared their assets and ratified the adoption of a Code of Conduct making it mandatory for legislators and senior government officials to do the same.

The proposal was first spearheaded by African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption, Apnac, chair Willias Madzimure, who is also the Kambuzuma MP.

Apnac is a network of African parliamentarians formed in 1999 in Uganda as a way to fight corruption by high profile people in society.

“I am going to be introducing the motion of declaring assets by public officials,” Madzimure said.

“I don’t think that I will have any problems in pushing the motion, because during the 7th Parliament we had adopted a code of conduct for MPs to declare their assets.”

Zimbabwe has steadily turned into one of the most corrupt countries in southern Africa.

A December 5, 2012 Transparency International’s corruption perception index (CPI) ranked Zimbabwe 163 in 176 countries polled worldwide.

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