Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
ALL Zimbabweans must adopt a culture of honesty and hard work to curb corruption that has eroded national values, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
He fielded questions from panellists at a symposium to commemorate the United Nations Anti-Corruption Day.
The symposium was organised by the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and Transparency International Zimbabwe Chapter.
The symposium ran under the theme; “Taking stock of the anti-corruption agenda in Zimbabwe.”
“We need to inculcate honest hard work among our people,” the President said.
“When that is done, anybody who sees that somebody does not value hard work, but values criminality; those people will be exposed.
“I believe that if all of us continue to say, ‘let us be honest, let us be an honest hard working population, then we can cross the River Jordan. But as it is, there is weakness in every level of society we can talk about. As I said, my Government, my administration will continue to tighten (laws on corruption).”
President Mnangagwa said the Constitution provided for the establishment of ZACC as a body to fight corruption and it was the citizens’ responsibility to join the fight against graft.
He said corruption did not originate in Zimbabwe, but was there even during the time of Jesus Christ, and it was also being fought then.
“So, we will continue to fight it,” said President Mnangagwa. “We have a commission to fight corruption, but how do we fight corruption? We need the support of our population, our people, because this corruption is among our people, both in the public sector and in the private sector.
“Critically, the public itself must participate in fighting corruption. It will be a misfortune if our people think that the Executive has a duty to discover corruption.
“It is a duty of everybody in society. It is our intention as Government to eradicate corruption.”
President Mnangagwa told the gathering that he had to dissolve the previous ZACC office bearers after they were accused of corruption.
“When I came into office, there was another commission which was there and I dismantled it because the public did not have confidence in it anymore,” he said.
“What I was receiving was that the commission was more corrupt than the work it was supposed to be doing. So, I dismissed the whole commission and I created a new commission whose head is a woman (Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo) and whose history is very strict in terms of administration. She is a former judge and brooks no nonsense.”
Government plans to strengthen legislation that deals with corruption to close loopholes that have been exploited by corrupt people, said President Mnangagwa.
The public and private sectors have been urged to help in tightening laws to eliminate corruption.
The President said Government was introducing e-government as a way of reducing face-to-face interactions, which have been cited as a major contributor to the high incidences of corruption.
But he warned it will take time and “huge resources”.
“We are doing that, which means we are going in the right direction,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Meanwhile, of course, white collar crimes continue to prevail, but as we move on, what should have been worrying was if Government was not doing the correct thing.
“But as long as Government is trying to do the correct thing, it is good. As we eliminate manual work in the systems, then we eliminate most of the corruption