Anyone serious about corruption?

The lack of political will to deal with corruption, coupled with widespread malpractice in state institutions, continue to erode public confidence in the sincerity of government’s capability to deliver good governance.

Speaking at a public discussion organised by the Zimbabwe Institute of Democracy last week, participants concurred that economic growth was dependent upon the state’s promotion of transparency and accountability.

University of Zimbabwe Political Science lecturer, Shakespear Hamauswa, said failure by government to bring to book political heavyweights implicated in money laundering scams impacted negatively on the country’s economy and fuelled corruption.

But he was optimistic that there were ministers in Zanu (PF) who were showing signs of seriousness about accountability and transparency. “There are serious people within Zanu (PF) who are very progressive and who have so far challenged and made strides towards eradicating corruption within their respective ministries,” said Hamauswa, applauding Media Minister Jonathan Moyo, Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora and Mines ministers Walter Chidhakwa.

“The government is not clear on how to deal with corruption considering that in the past, there has been no action taken against those accused of engaging in corruption scams,” he said.

The country’s major airline, Air Zimbabwe, is the latest casualty. It was reportedly swindled in a $10 million scam that has sucked in the Secretary of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Munesu Munodawafa.

A local daily revealed that an audit company established that Air Zimbabwe was prejudices of€5 895 695,49 and $1 298 827,88 in a four-year aviation insurance scam involving top management at the airline.

Hamauswa said government should embark on a clean-up exercise of all the major parastatals and all individuals, regardless of their political standing found on the wrong side of the law, should be brought to book.

“A fish starts rotting in the head and this is our challenge in Zimbabwe. Corruption is now a culture where it has gained precedence and dominance in every institution starting with those in leadership positions,” he said.

The director of Coalition Against Corruption, Terry Mutsvanga, called for a holistic approach in dealing with the scourge of corruption arguing that government should review the salary scales of civil servants as a starting point of ensuring that they do not accept bribes.

“Government commitment in dealing with corruption is just cheap talk at public forums. It should engage in practical measures that ensure speedy implementation of probes and prosecution of those implicated in corruption scams,” he said.

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