'Zim lacks political will to fight graft'

MUTARE - There is lack of political will at the top to fight corruption that has dogged the nation for decades, anti-corruption group Transparency International has said.

Frank Mpahlo, the watchdog’s Zimbabwe chapter programme officer, told the Daily News on Sunday on the sidelines of the reopening of the Mutare office on Thursday that lack of political zeal to tackle corruption was one reason why the southern African economy was ranked among the most corrupt nations in the region.

“There is little understanding of the impact of corruption on economic development by public officials so they don’t pursue it as aggressively. Our desire is to improve their understanding of the issues,” Mpahlo said.

Zimbabwe was last year ranked 157th out of 175 countries on the Transparency International index, which measures public perceptions of corruption in public institutions.

The Transparency International Zimbabwe official said the country had relevant legislation to tackle corruption.

“Poor enforcement for compliance of legislation that deals with corruption is another huge drawback in the fight to contain corruption,” he said.

Mpahlo said one of his organisation’s strategies in dealing with corruption was to empower citizens and communities to identify and report the vice.

“Another drawback is poor citizen consultation and involvement in processes, so we want to empower citizens and communities to be the bedrock of the fight against corruption,” he said.

TIZ is reopening its Mutare office after closing it down late last year due to funding constraints.

The office had operated since 2012, prior to its closure.

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