ED challenged on graft

HARARE - Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) has challenged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to spearhead the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) as one of the many reliable interventions to tackle corruption which has proved to be endemic in the country in the past two decades.

This was revealed during the launch of the Annual State of Corruption report seminar held at a local hotel recently.

TIZ seeks to adopt the NACS which is in the same mould with the one in the neighbouring South Africa in which the strategy is described as “The government’s initiative to establish national consensus on how to tackle corruption.”

The report on the state of corruption in the country’s key findings include the evidence of a cultural shift in the way corruption is viewed in that it is no longer seen as an unclean deed but rather a way of life.

The research also further indicates that the adoption of corruption in everyday life has taken away people’s will and power to act and advocate against corruption hence the cost of compliance becomes very high.

Farai Mutondoro, regional coordinator and head of programmes with TIZ told Southern News that the adoption of NACS was the best way to go.

“The adoption of an anti-corruption strategy by government will set a foot forward in fighting against corruption and will give key pointers as to how anti-corruption should effectively be approached,” Mutondoro said.

“TIZ has further engaged the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and other stakeholders, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and talks are already underway to advocate for this development after this year’s harmonised elections. TIZ, in its goal to combat corruption, is hopeful that if the NACS is adopted, it will help raise awareness, promote transparency and accountability in governance,” he said.

Mnangagwa has been under fire from various sectors who accuse him of paying lip service in his bid to fight corruption in the country.

Mutondoro further noted that the NACS was taking form out of consultations and discussions with government, business, labour and civil society.

“The strategy encapsulates strategic pillars, from citizen empowerment and awareness of corruption, to improving transparency and the integrity of the public procurement system as well as strengthening oversight and anti-corruption agencies and improved consequence management.”

He added: “Corruption is so rampant that a token of appreciation can be mistaken for a bribe. People subconsciously offer a token of appreciation after one has been greatly assisted, therefore blurring the line between bribery and a genuine gesture.”

TIZ is a non-profit, non-partisan, systems-oriented local chapter of the international movement against corruption. The organisation’s mandate is to combat corruption and prevent criminal activities arising from corruption so as to help build a world in which government, politics, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption.

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