Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission can only effectively discharge its duties if manned by skilled and untainted individuals eager to fight graft, analysts said yesterday. ZACC chairperson Dr Job Whabira and his entire team resigned last week after letting the country down in fighting graft. Legal and security consultant Mr Tendai Toto urged President Mnangagwa to ensure the right people are given the job at ZACC.
“Besides for ZACC to function effectively it must have a warm bodied, motivated, competent and efficient secretariat,” he said.
“Partisan appointments and the ugly effects of politicisation of ZACC must be key issues that must inform the President to do things differently if this ZACC is to fulfil its constitutional mandate, to function efficiently, effectively and to deliver,” he said.
Harare lawyer Mr Obert Gutu said the commissioners that stepped down were “long on promises and very short on delivery”.
“They talked much more than they acted,” he said.
“Put bluntly, they were thoroughly incompetent. What we do not know is whether or not there was some strong behind the scenes force that made the operations of the ZACC hamstrung.”
Mr Gutu said corruption in Zimbabwe had never been ruthlessly fought.
“Only the small fish are fried while the big fish always safely swim away,” he said.
Mr Gutu implored President Mnangagwa to take a leaf from Rwanda in his fight against corruption saying President Paul Kagame managed to arrest graft in his country.
“Perhaps, this is what we need in Zimbabwe. In word and in deed, there should be zero tolerance to corruption.”
Another legal expert, who worked closely with ZACC said renewal of appointees of institutions like the anti-graft body must be a regular practice.
“This boosts public and investor confidence,” said the analyst, who declined to be named for professional reasons.
The legal expert urged the Judiciary and the National Prosecuting Authority to take a cue from what is happening to the anti-corruption body to rid itself from the bad elements that undermine public and investor confidence.
The team was appointed in February 2016 and pursued a number of high-profile cases, although only one case — that of former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge — resulted in a conviction at the courts.