Zupco remains least transparent public body

The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) is the least transparent public body, says a statement issued by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) in Zimbabwe today.

Zupco is a public transportation parastatals that, over the years, has been dogged by allegations of corruption and abuse of government property.

This is the third year running that the public entity has earned the tag of being the most opaque department, at a time the psychomotor ministry established slightly more than a year ago has been adjudged the most transparent.

The findings came out in a report on opacity among public bodies, the 2014 Report on Open and Secretive Public Institutions in Southern Africa carried between May and July.

The study was carried out through evaluations of public organisations’ websites and their readiness to engage with the public through responses to queries.

Also sampled locally were the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa), ministries of primary and secondary education, higher education, transport and local government, as well as the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) and the Central Mechanical Equipment Department “According to the survey findings, the majority of institutions remain closed when it comes to placing information in the public domain,” read the statement.

It added: “ ZUPCO remained the most secretive of the surveyed institutions and is still to have a functional website in addition to its failure to respond to written requests during the period under review. Of the 10 institutions surveyed, eight had websites, but were not regularly updated and lacked useful information. ZUPCO for instance, has a domain registered and a default page. This does not constitute a functioning website”.

Even the psychomotor ministry did not have a website, it “responded well to both written and oral questions and even invited the researcher to their offices for a face-to-face interaction”. Civil society and community based organisations were involved in the research.

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