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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Crisis Report - Issue 221
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    September 17, 2013

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    Democratisation and fight against corruption intertwined, says civil society

    Civil Society actors who attended a public meeting organized by the Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) at the Ambassador Hotel in Harare on Thursday, September 12, said the fight against corruption was inseparable from the fight for democracy and better economic management.

    Timothy Chiganze, a TIZ board member, said Zimbabwe was currently ranked the 7th most corrupt country in the world. He pointed out that emerging trends showed that it was mostly countries which are known for undemocratic governance and weak institutions that were also known for high levels of corruption.

    “The least democratic countries are the most corrupt,” Chiganze said. “The most democratic countries are the least corrupt.”

    The public discussion went under the topic, “No Impunity: Corruption is a crime”. Discussants emphasized the need to link the fight against corruption to the struggle for democratisation in the country, saying the struggles were interdependent.

    They said because of the impunity, which happens in undemocratic societies like Zimbabwe, it would be impossible to ensure accountability and reduce corruption without democratic and institutional reforms.

    Dr. Ibbo Mandaza, the Director of Southern African Political Economy Series (Sapes) Trust, said corruption thrived in a context of prevalent and abject poverty.

    “As long as the economy does not improve there is always going to be corruption,” he said. Mandaza said it was important for those institutions and individuals who are fighting against corruption to research and investigate public reports on corruption in order to “convert rumor into fact” and “put figures to it”.

    Dr. David Mupamhadze, an economist said the scourge of corruption had taken its toll on the ordinary people who become impoverished when government officials enrich themselves through corrupt activities.

    Mupamhadze talked about the issue of the alleged unwillingness by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development and Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) to remit to Treasury revenue from diamonds during the tenure of the Inclusive Government.

    “During the last four years of the budgets of the (former) Minister of Finance Tendai Biti, I think it had become the norm that from diamonds ‘I am getting virtually nothing’,” Mupamhadze said. “But on the ground we can see that there is activity happening (at the mines).”

    “We are a case study of living in poverty amid abundance because of corruption,” Mupamhadze said. “There is need for accountability at the top level.”

    Mapamhadze said it was important for government officials to declare their assets before assuming office and when they leave office to avoid them getting rich over night through unscrupulous ways.

    “Let them account how they got their wealth along the way,” he said, adding that there is need for political will to tackle the challenge.

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