At least 25 MPs on Thursday declared their assets in a move aimed at pushing other public office bearers, like government ministers, to do the same, as a way of clamping down on corruption.
The MPs, who declared their assets to the Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo, are pushing for the adoption of a Code of Conduct that will make it compulsory for all legislators to declare their assets before they assume office.
MPs that have declared their assets include Blessing Chebundo, Betty Chikava, David Chimhini, Felix Sibanda, Editor Matamisa, Ward Nezi, Gabriel Ndebele, Metrine Mudau and Stewart Garadhi.
Speaking during the commemoration of World Anti-Corruption Day in Harare under the theme, “Corruption Kills Development”, Kambuzuma MP Willas Madzimure on Thursday said declaration of assets was one of the ways of keeping public officials
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Madzimure, who is also the chairperson of the African Parliamentary Network Against Corruption (Apnac) said: “Where there is corruption, there is no development.
“What we have at the moment is a draft of the Code of Conduct,” said Madzimure. “It has not been adopted but we are going to push for its adoption.
“Members of the public should be able to query the levels of wealth that senior officials would have accrued at any given time.”
The declaration of assets is currently being done on a voluntary basis but it is the MPs’ intention to make it mandatory.
“We believe getting MPs to declare their assets will be a bold first step which will show the way for all those who hold positions of authority,” said Madzimure.
Madzimure said as a result of the country being perceived as highly corrupt, it was difficult to attract foreign investment. It was therefore a matter of urgency to stamp out the scourge, he said.
The Kambuzuma MP said corruption had permeated all the sectors of society making it difficult to acquire basic documents like birth certificates and free inputs procured by government funds.
Apnac vice chairperson, who is also Mberengwa North MP Jabulani Mangena said the declaration of assets was meant to ensure that MPs were transparent in their transactions.
“We want to be transparent in the way we conduct ourselves. Members of the public should be in a position to know how officials would have accrued their wealth”.
There are government ministers who have recently hogged the limelight after shocking exposure of their massive wealth. The accumulation of such obscene wealth could not be justified by their salaries as civil servants.
Apnac is a network of African Parliamentarians formed in 1999 in Uganda as a way to fight corruption tendencies by high profile people in society.
Zanu PF Mwenezi East MP Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said it was necessary for the MPs to come clean and declare their assets.
He agreed that parliamentarians wanted to make declaration of assets compulsory.