Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
Zimbabwe should be wary of increased cases of corruption as the economy begins to recover under investor friendly policies enunciated by the new dispensation as “dirty” international firms are likely to target the country, the dean of African diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ambassador to Zimbabwe Dr Mwawapanga Mwanananga has warned.
Dr Mwanananga made the remarks at a function organised by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to mark the 2018 African Anti-Corruption Day that was belatedly commemorated in Harare yesterday and was attended by various stakeholders and African diplomats. The day is traditionally celebrated on July 11 annually by all African countries.
This year’s commemorations were held under the theme “Winning the fight against corruption, a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation.”
Dr Mwanananga said the local economy was poised to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) due to the efforts by President Mnangagwa, but fears abound corrupt businesses would also want to target the country.
On his part, President Mnangagwa has taken the lead in the fight against corruption, which has seen him establish a special Anti-Corruption Unit housed in the Office of the President and Cabinet, the establishment of the special Anti-Corruption Courts as well as overseeing the establishment of an anti-corruption unit in the police force.
Ambassador Mwanananga noted that the internationally sought after US dollar, which is the major currency in the multi-currency basket, is also a motivating factor for corruption and Zimbabwe should respond by putting in place strong institutions to deal with cases of corruption.
“Let me tell you, the US dollar is a very big source of corruption,” said Ambassador Mwanananga.
“As we speak today, the mantra of President ED is that Zimbabwe is open for business, but as you open your country for business you also open it to corruption.
“Rich people are very dirty so when you open your country for business, then you have to be very careful and you have to put in place systems to clean that corruption that can come from outside.
“So I do have a word of caution that the fight against corruption is not a one time thing, it’s a process, you have to be vigilant every day,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Senior Principal Director Public Affairs and Knowledge Management in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Ambassador Mary Mubi, also reiterated that Government and the President in particular maintains a zero tolerance on all forms of corruption.
Ambassador Mubi said the continued quest to improve the easy of doing business through aligning existing laws towards achieving this end, the promotion of ICT-based transactions among other strategies, are all part of efforts to deal with the scourge of corruption.
“Notable flagships in these reforms include the online application systems and the online facilities in the registration of companies and the application for passports,” said Ambassador Mubi.
“I assure you can now see the visible difference in terms of ITCs, how they have reduced corruption cases.
“To give further impetus to zero tolerance on corruption, His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa has created an anti-corruption prosecutor unit within the Office of the President and Cabinet to pursue higher profile corruption cases,” she said.