By Tendai Mugabe
The just-ended 31st Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Summit in Mauritania resolved that the continent should build strong institutions to fight corruption and share vital information relating to operations of graft syndicates. Themed “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation,” the summit dovetailed with the thrust of President Mnangagwa’s new dispensation that declared zero tolerance to corruption.
President Mnangagwa’s stance on corruption seeks to build a new Zimbabwe that rewards talent and hard work premised on servant leadership.
This has seen his administration building a strong foundation to fight corruption by way of setting up anti-corruption institutions and enactment of laws that deal with graft-related issues.
Addressing journalists after landing at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare on his return from the AU summit yesterday, President Mnangagwa said: “And of course there was the question of corruption — how we must fight corruption, the sharing of information between member-states and other organisations worldwide because most of the corruption on the continent relates to how Africa relates with the outside world and also corruption within the continent itself, that is we should build robust institutions in our respective States to fight corruption on our countries.”
In his presentation, which displayed Zimbabwe’s seriousness in tackling corruption, President Mnangagwa said: “Upon assuming the Presidency of my country, my Government prioritised the fight against corruption.
“To this end, we have established Special Anti-Corruption Courts, required Cabinet members to declare their assets, established a new Anti-Corruption Prosecution Unit within my Office and enacted the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act.
“The most enduring way of fighting corruption, however, is to inculcate values which are averse to corruption within our societies.”
Speaking at the airport, President Mnangagwa said some of the issues that came under discussion during the Summit included reformation of the AU and maintenance of peace on the continent.
“The major issues that were raised first concerned the reforms of the AU in relation to the dealing of the issues that come to the AU in terms of regulation and procedures of handling issues by organs of the AU, the Commission and the number of sittings of the summit of the AU,” said President Mnangagwa
“The second issue relates to the security, the hot spots on the continent were discussed and that African problems require African solutions and the entire summit supported that position where we see ourselves as a continent addressing issues affecting member States in terms of resolving those issues.
“The question of funding, again we debated on that one, together with that of the budget, that we need to continue increasing the percentage of the budget to be funded by the member States of the AU so that the dependency on foreign funding is reduced and I think we all agreed as member States, and this will be improved by the 0,2 percent which will be levied on exports of member States and that again is a process that is unfolding.
“The other issue we discussed was the implementation and ratification of the African Free Trade Area which we signed in Kigali last March, that member States are being urged to ratify the African free market and trade on the continent.”
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa returned home yesterday and was welcomed at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by one of his deputies Dr Constantino Chiwenga, Harare Metropolitan Provincial Minister of State Cde Mirriam Chikukwa, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and senior Government officials.