Don’t compete, collaborate – anti-corruption agencies told

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In this story:

  • Anti-corruption agencies meet
  • Call to strengthen cooperation

By Conrad Mwanawashe

AGENCIES involved in the fight against corruption should strengthen interagency cooperation do away with competition and conflicting responsibilities and complement each other in line with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS).

Interagency cooperation, according to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) Commissioner Gabriel Chaibva is an important instrument in fighting corruption which impoverishes the nation.

Chaibva was addressing an Interagency Breakfast Meeting organised by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ), Harare recently.

The interagency meeting brought together law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Parliament of Zimbabwe, and civil society and the media.

“Our efforts are aligned with regional and international conventions and legal frameworks, including the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol Against Corruption.

“As a signatory to various anti-corruption conventions, Zimbabwe is committed to adopting

proactive and aggressive strategies to combat corruption. This requires close collaboration (as we are doing) as state agencies, civil society, and other stakeholders within the justice system and the media,” said Chaibva.

TIZ Executive Director, Tafadzwa Chikumbu, told the meeting that corruption has become part of culture with people even offering unsolicited bribes.

“Corruption in Zimbabwe is very high. We talk of rampant corruption. The fight against corruption requires that we change our culture as a people,” said Chikumbu.

Although corruption remains a major obstacle to the country’s socio-economic development, with the 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index scoring Zimbabwe at 24 out of 100, collaborative efforts have ensured significant successes, demonstrating “the power of unity and the potential we have when we work together towards a common goal ZACC and its partner agencies”.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, guided by the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), interagency collaboration and coordination are imperative for achieving our goals. We are obligated to work together to produce the desired results for our nation.

“Our ultimate goal is to serve the citizens.
They are the ones who bear the brunt of the effects of corruption
as it impacts all aspects of their lives, including access to food,
health care and education,” Chaibva said.

TIZ Director Chikumbu said interagency cooperation is key in the fight against corruption.

“Interagency cooperation is something that has been identified as a key instrument in the fight against corruption within the framework of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol Against Corruption.

“The National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), which we adopted as a country, also recognises that there should be interagency cooperation among ourselves to ensure that we avoid competition and conflicting responsibilities so that we complement each other,” added Chikumbu.

In the past year, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and the
Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) conducted joint investigations into
Premier Service Medication Aid Society (PSMAS) corruption.

This collaboration led to the arrest of six members of the executive management and 38 doctors.

Following a report from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Planning about the rampant abuse of the scheme, ZACC and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) jointly investigated the Civil Servants Motor Vehicle Rebate Scheme.

“Although the investigation is ongoing, we have already recovered over 250 vehicles,” he added.

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