The scourge of corruption

Zimbabwe should introduce laws to protect “whistle blowers” in order to deal more effectively with corruption, according to Proctor Nyemba, an expert on white collar crime.

The Transparency International index on corruption ranks Zimbabwe 143 out of 150 countries.

“This means we are the seventh most corrupt country in the world. We must not accept corruption as a human condition,” added Timothy Chiganze, a board member at TIZ.

The two experts were addressing a recent meeting in Harare on corruption.

Nyemba said because of its low ranking, Zimbabwe should take a leaf from Ghana and South Africa’s books and introduce laws to protect whistle blowers.

“We need those at the top to lead by example, be it in government, boards of directors, churches or parastatals,” said Chiganze. “The most advanced economies are the least corrupt. Placing the fight for democracy in the hands of one or two parties or individuals will not work.”

Sydney Chisi, a human rights campaigner, believes that vulnerable members of society are the worst affected by corruption.

“Let us think about the weak and vulnerable whose problems emanate from the capture of important institutions by the elite,” Chisi says.

Economist David Mupamhadzi called on society to calculate the cost of corruption in order to demonstrate the severity of the problem.

“Of the top 10 most corrupt countries in the world, six are in sub-Saharan Africa. There are huge leakages in the system and natural resources are only benefiting the elite,” he said. “We lack role models. We lack people who have earned their place in society through hard work. We have overnight millionaires who have manipulated tender systems. I don’t think our leaders have the moral fibre to stand in front of the people and declare the national vision of Zimbabwe.”

Political analyst, Ibbo Mandaza, said fighting corruption should be institutionalised for the exercise to be effective.

“As long as the economy does not improve, corruption will be endemic. We need to ensure that all revenue is accounted for but our leadership is depleted of moral authority at very top,” said Mandaza.

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