Transparency International Zimbabwe, ZACC Expose Grand Corruption

The Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) report released recently has exposed a grand state capture of councils and traditional leaders in a land rush to amass wealth.

The report said corruption had prejudiced the government of almost US$3 billion in unclaimed land value.

TIZ is a non-profit local chapter of the international movement against corruption while Zacc is an independent commission created to combat corruption.

The report was funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Zimbabwe.

In her executive summary, Zacc chairperson Loyce Matanda-Moyo expressed concern about the rising cases of urban land corruption.

She said the increased demand for urban and peri-urban land across Zimbabwe was driven by multiple factors, including high rates of urbanisation, increased rural-urban migration, urban population growth and challenges in housing provision in the post-independence era. She added:

The weak land governance systems and corruption which are hallmarks of the combination of gaps in the government legislation and weak standard land management procedures are multi-faceted.

On one hand there is illegal and unprocedural acquisition, change of land use and allocation of urban land. On the other hand, as pressure on urban land increases, corresponding competition for peri-urban land has been witnessed, resulting in the annexure of peri-urban state land without following due procedures as laid down in the governing legislation.

TIZ acting executive director Tafadzwa Chikumbu said corruption manifestations were everchanging resulting in perpetrators evading justice despite the presence of policy, legal and institutional frameworks for land governance and combating corruption.

The study comes when Zimbabwe has witnessed several cases of housing demolitions due to land corruption in urban and peri-urban areas.

Chikumbu concurred with Justice Matanda-Moyo that the fight against corruption needed political will.

They also agreed that corruption was being fueled by weak legislation for land governance, abuse of political power, selective enforcement of the law and weak institutions.

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