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probe: cast net wide
September 25, 2013
View this article
onThe Zimbabwean website
Mugabe talked passionately about corruption and the need to stamp
it out last week. His remarks
are welcome, but a lot needs to be done if the enormous problem
of corruption in our society is to be effectively dealt with.
While Mugabe singled
out Goodwills Masimirembwa as one prominent person who needed to
be probed, our position is that the probe needs to rope in many
other people in positions of influence.
Just last year, the Zimbabwe
Anti-Corruption Commission was investigating three government ministers,
Nicholas Goche, Saviour Kasukuwere and Obert Mpofu, but the probe
was frustrated by officials in a bizarre move that saw members of
ZACC being turned into suspects.
While ZACC commissioners
and members of the commission’s secretariat must not be treated
as sacred cows, the probe against them, launched just as they were
investigating the ministers, smells fishy.
It would be desirable
to revive this probe. And it should also include Local Government
Minister, Ignatius Chombo, who has been named as having unjustly
amassed enormous wealth. But these names are a mere tip of the iceberg.
We urge ZACC and other law enforcements agents to dig deep and sniff
out those who have been involved in corruption right across the
board, but particularly in the mining sector and in the acquisition
The anti-corruption investigations
must not be limited to public office holders, but should extend
to the private sector. It is clear that for corruption to reach
the alarming levels that we have witnessed over the years, it is
because of an intricate relationship between the private and public
For the anti-graft fight
to succeed, ZACC must be adequately empowered and resourced, and
should work closely with the police. Hitherto, there has been a
discord between the two institutions for reasons we are yet to unpack,
making investigations extremely difficult. It is vital that the
two must enjoy unadulterated independence. In the past, they have
been crippled by too much interference, particularly from the executive.
There should be no sacred cows at all.
Similarly, the National
Prosecuting Authority must resist undue interference and conduct
itself in a professional manner, without fear or favour.
It seems the reported
abuse of the Community Development Fund by Members of Parliament
has been taken off the radar. We demand to know what happened to
those that are alleged to have swindled the fund.
Investigations in this
regard need to be reactivated, because the former and current MPs
fingered in the scam were using taxpayers’ money.
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