PM declares war on corruption

tsvangirai_adressing_partyHARARE Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has declared zero tolerance for corruption in the civil service, vowing to dismantle a patronage system that has been abused by government officials and other people with links to the old regime of President Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai told businesspeople in Victoria Falls last week that he has set a target of ridding the government of mismanagement and corruption which had become endemic in the civil service.

This is a fight that must be fought and won, he said during the annual congress of the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ).

He urged business to play its part by not encouraging corrupt practices and to report any graft cases to his office.

For too long, too many businesses have been forced to rely on patronage to survive. My government is committed to establishing an environment determined by strong market principles that encourages both independence and innovation, the premier said.

Tsvangirai said the coalition government was slowly dismantling the systems of privilege, entitlement and impunity which sheltered and protected those involved in the systematic looting of the countrys resources.

Mugabe has since 2000 relied on the system of political patronage to reward loyalty among members of his Zanu (PF) party.

Hoards of his supporters including Zanu (PF) cabinet ministers have blindly approved his controversial policies in order to curry favours from the Zimbabwean strongman.

Corruption had also taken root in the civil service until this year, with government officials known to demand payment or kickbacks in order to process documents ordinarily offered for free.

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