Competent directors are key to anti-corruption

Government should ensure competent people with integrity sit as directors on the boards of parastatals and state enterprises if corruption is to be tamed, says former Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda.

Former Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda
Former Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda

Zimbabwe state enterprises are reeling under the weight of corruption and bad management, which, according to Masunda, could be minimised by appointing suitable people as directors.

The boards have been accused of letting chief executives at state enterprises award themselves obscene salaries and other benefits at a time when the organisations have been under-performing.

Masunda told The Zimbabwean that “people in responsible positions should draw a clear line between personal and non-personal issues. He also emphasised the need to appoint boards on a non-partisan basis.

Masunda said he was an example of a deserving board director since he sat on several boards because of his performance and unquestionable integrity.

He suggested that boards of directors be composed of suitably trained and experienced members. Corruption in Zimbabwe continues to spiral despite the country having an anti-corruption commission in place.

On paper, the commission has the mandate to expose cases of corruption in the public and private sectors. It is supposed to combat corruption, theft, misappropriation, abuse of power and other improper conduct in the public and private sectors. Alongside investigation and prosecution, its aim is to foster honesty, financial discipline and transparency in the public and private sectors.

ZACC directs the commissioner general of police to investigate cases of suspected corruption and report back on the results. Investigated cases are then referred to the national prosecuting authority for prosecution “without fear or favour”.

The commission is also supposed to make recommendations to the government and responsible offices on measures to enhance integrity and accountability in the public and private sectors. People can approach the commission with complaints regarding irregularities at public and private institutions for action.

However, the ZACC has yet to prove itself. Observers have blamed corruption on government’s unwillingness to tame the scourge in the bud.

Early in 2013, ZACC attempts to raid offices of the former indigenisation and empowerment minister, Saviour Kasukuwere; former transport minister, Nicholas Goche, and former mines minister, Obert Mpofu, were foiled by police and Zanu (PF).

Instead, some commissioners were accused and arrested.

“ZACC should be empowered to dignify the country and help uphold honesty, integrity and self dedication against corruption among citizens,” said a top government official.

Former minister for state enterprises and parastatals, Gorden Moyo, said efforts by his ministry to bring normality and accountability to state enterprises were foiled by the powers that be.

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