By Farai Dauramanzi
A government minister has made a call on every Zimbabwean to play their part in the fight against corruption.
While speaking at a press conference that was held in Harare on Tuesday 9 December 2014 and organised by Zero Tolerance-Wise Consultancy to commemorate World Anti-corruption Day, Deputy Minister for Information Honourable Supa Mandiwanzira said that the responsibility of fighting corruption does not rest on government alone.
“There is this very wrong perception that the responsibility of fighting corruption is a responsibility of government… Every individual who is affected by corruption has a responsibility to make sure that we fight corruption together,” said Mandiwanzira.
Mandiwanzira expounded that government was fully committed in the fight against corruption which he said undermines development and the progression of society.
“This is why the President has been very clear at various forums saying that we must nip corruption in the bud. Those that are accused of corruption, evidence must be gathered and they must pay the price,” added Mandiwanzira.
Mandiwanzira also noted that corruption involves everyone and explained that it happens when two institutions or more interact, “Corruption does not come to the fore because those that are interested have no interests to report it to the police.”
Also speaking at the same event Honourable Willias Madzimure said that in order to fight corruption there was need for the implementation of constitutional provisions that deal with corruption.
“We need to start somewhere in order to break the chain. As members of parliament we must declare our assets, every official who joins government must declare their assets,” said Madzimure.
Madzimure also recommended that there is need to empower institutions such as anti-corruption commission and the police that are supposed to ensure that there is no corruption.
Another speaker at the event Hounorable Mackenzie Ncube said that corruption should be dealt with as it was difficult for ZIMASSET to succeed in the current situation.
“The salaries that were paid to chief executives (officers) at PSMAS, ZBC and City of Harare left the nation in a state of disbelief. What has shocked Zimbabweans is the extent to which public servants are helping themselves to state coffers in a manner that is not only abhorrent but, immoral,” said Ncube.
Former MP who also once served as ZUPCO CEO Dr Bright Matonga also condemned the level of corruption in the country and gave a chilling account of his experiences in the fight against corruption, “I address you as a victim of a corrupt gangster that targets individuals. I have been arrested twice because of corrupt people who wanted to force us to act in a corrupt manner and we refused.”
Dr Matonga said that the corruption fight should start from the president’s office to ensure that there is no abuse of the anti-corruption mechanisms.
“There has to be an independent constitutional body not a ministry or a minister of corruption or anti-corruption. That office should be in the office of the president and it should report to the president directly because if there is a ministry there will also be corruption,” said Dr Matonga.
Dr Matonga also noted the need for civil servants to be well remunerated in order to reduce the issues of corruption and urged government to come up with a linear structure that is well-paid.
The world anti-corruption day is celebrated each year and this year’s celebrations were held under the theme “Break the corruption chain”.