By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) says it is not able to effectively carry out its anti-corruption mandate due to weak and inconsistent laws.
Since its formation in 2013, ZACC has not done anything meaningful despite being funded through public funds every year, a development which has seen it being unpopular with many Zimbabweans who are pissed by went-away corruption which has eroded the country.
Various leading politicians and chief executives of public enterprises have been fingered in corruption cases which have fleeced the country of millions of dollars but nothing has been done to most of them.
At one time ZACC was forced to release people whom it had arrested for corruption by former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko because they were his friends.
According to former President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe lost about US$15 billion in diamond revenue due to illicit dealings at Marange and Chiadzwa but up to now ZACC has not arrested anyone for the loss,
Speaking at a dialogue meeting on ‘corruption in Post Mugabe Era’ organised by Crisis Zimbabwe Coalition, ZACC Commissioner Dr Nanette Silukhuni said while the body has been criticised for being inept it should be noted that this could be attributed to lack of effective pieces of legislation that can curb corruption.
“We have a yawning gap in terms of legislative framework hence the need to expedite the re-alignment of laws.
“There is no legislation that can guarantee investigations of wealthy individuals whose wealth is disproportionate with the income they earn,” she said.
Parliament last week raised concern over Minister Obert Mpofu’s wealth arguing that most of it was acquired while he was Minister of Mines, the same period when the US$15 billion is said to have been lost.
The Committee on Mines and Energy is currently ceased with the matter and has vowed to get to the bottom of it and that no one will be spared in the inquiry that will likely sack in the police, the army and the CIOs.
According to Norton Legislator Temba Mliswa, the army, the police and the CIO all had diamond mining concessions at Marange as a way of capacitating them in times of economic turmoil.
Meanwhile, Dr Silukhuni said she is confident in the new dispensation’s bid to eradicate corruption which has seen the commission getting more resources from the 2018 national budget.
“The new government has upped the budgetary allocation towards the work we are doing which will go a long way in dealing with corruption,” Dr Silukhuni said.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president Peter Mutasa however, castigated ZACC for pushing Zanu PF factional agenda.
“There is a growing concern by the public that ZACC is only targeting G40 cabals and many are now losing confidence in the body.
He added that “there is the need for institutional reforms so that there is no conflation between the state and Zanu PF,” he said.
Sekai Holland took the opportunity to urge citizens to test the anti-graft commission’s competence by furnishing them with reports of corruption and making follow ups.