'Zacc officers vulnerable to bribes'

HARARE - Poor salaries are making officers at the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) susceptible to bribes, Parliamentary has heard.

Presenting a report in the National Assembly during debate on the national budget, Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services portfolio committee chairperson, Tshinga Dube, said salaries for Zacc employees must be improved urgently.

He said improving Zacc salaries would ensure staff is paid in line with other anti-corruption commissions in the Southern African Development Community region.

Dube said this will also enable Zacc to attract, retain and effectively utilise specialist skills with ideal qualifications to investigate complex corruption cases.

“Temptation to accept bribes from corrupt criminals by the commission’s officers is reduced and rather the commission’s officers will be motivated to discharge their duties,” he said.

Zacc was restricted by Treasury to an expenditure target of $2 469 million during the 2018 budget consultations.

This allocation disregarded the commission’s huge but achievable expenditure targets earmarked for the current year.

“The final allocation of the commission for its 2018 budget was $3,351 million including employment costs.

“This allocation is 0,07 percent of the total national budget and is far below the international best practices of allocating at least five percent of the national budget to the anti-corruption agencies to cater for recurrent and capital expenditures.

“The commission bided for $17,4 million excluding employment costs,” reads part of the report.

Dube recommended that the government must de-centralise Zacc by setting sub offices in different provinces.

“We recommend that Zacc should be allocated adequate funds so that it fills in all the 141 vacancies so that effective structures and systems are set up and operationalised as soon as possible. Sub offices in Midlands, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Manicaland will be set up, manned and operationalised.

“The commission’s Budget should be increased up to the amount that was bided. This means that Treasury should allocate Zacc its required $17,4 million to cater for all its operational costs for 2018.

“It should be noted that the Zacc is the lead institution in fighting corruption in Zimbabwe in this new dispensation.

“Therefore, the commission should be fully funded so that it sets all the necessary structures and systems required and effectively deliver on its mandate to curb Zimbabwe’s number one enemy — corruption.”

 

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