By Leopold Munhende
Political interference, poor financing, lack of technical capacity and discord within Zimbabwe’s anti-corruption bodies are said to be contributing to continued failure by the graft busting entities to pin down the corrupt.
Speaking at the ‘Dem Loot’ Indaba alongside celebrated journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) campaign officer Angela Mandoreba had no kind words for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s anti-corruption institutions.
Mandoreba said Zimbabwe, like most African countries, Zimbabwe has too many institutions tasked to act as watchdogs against corruption, thereby compromising their effectiveness.
The Zimbabwe’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), a government constituted entity, has a mandate similar to that of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU).
Police, similarly, has a mandate to deal with the corrupt.
Said Mandoreba, “It does not mean that we do not have institutions or systems that fight corruption, in as much as we might have ZACC or the NPA the challenge we have as Zimbabwe and Africa is that we do have an oversupply of institutions in place whose effectiveness is questionable.”
“Would we be talking of such rampant abuse of resources when we have such institutions in place? Would we be talking about the abuse of resources meant to assist the vulnerable in society when we have these institutions.
“There is need for proper coordination between the anti-corruption agencies in Zimbabwe. We are not short of institutions or legal frameworks to safeguard public resources.”
Reports indicate the officers within the institutions do not see eye to eye as each organisation feels the other was stepping into its purview.
Mandoreba said the anti-corruption bodies will only be a success if their independence was guaranteed as they are currently only being used as tools to settle political scores by those in control.
She added: “Their effectiveness is undermined especially when it comes to the independence of those institutions.
“The challenge that is there are the design loopholes that are there or lack of capacity in terms of delivering their mandate.
“Let us guarantee the independence of these commissions, however, due to the political landscape of our country, we know it will be very difficult for such commissions to act in an independent way because there are always hidden political hands that will be controlling what they should do and how they should act at a given time.
“Technical capacity of these institutions in handling crime is also a challenge.
“Let us not end at arrest or prosecution. Let us make sure that we convict or recover the looted resources, ensuring that those resources are back in the coffers.
“We have institutions that purport to be fighting corruption yet not.”
Chin’ono narrated how he has been persecuted for exposing corruption over the past year and a half.