Vice-President Joice Mujuru says there is a need to fight corruption in government, public enterprises and private sector and there was a need to create an environment in which corrupt behaviour is not profitable at all levels.
This, she said, was important as the country moves towards the attainment of a $100 billion economy in 2030.
In a speech read on her behalf at the ongoing Third Forensic Conference in Harare on Monday by Minister of State in her Office, Sylvester Nguni, VP Mujuru said there was therefore a need to broaden the curricula of accountants to include auditing and investigative skills due to the increase in white-collar crime.
“ . . . fraud and corruption have been a focus of inquiry in their own right because they involve undermining the efficiency in both private and public office, for individual gain,” said Mujuru.
“These ills are also intricately linked to other forms of lawlessness and maladministration”.
VP Mujuru said given that a majority of forensic accounting was done with an eye toward litigation, it would be important for forensic accountants to be supported with legal systems for successful prosecution.
She said forensic accountants should continuously sharpen their skills so that they could keep abreast with developments in the world of crime.
Mujuru said the conference would provide a platform to discuss the application of forensic or investigative accounting as a response to fraud, corruption and money laundering.
She said the conference would serve as a key element in strategy formulation, network building and information sharing, which were essential to successful collaboration and coordination among key players in the anti fraud and corruption effort.
“Felony does not only destroy the economy, but also undermines the well being of society, as business collapse is causing unemployment and poverty,” said Mujuru.
“Business vice wastes resources, reduces the effectiveness of government interventions and distorts priorities. This increases the cost of production, reduces competitiveness, frustrates efforts to alleviate poverty and generates apathy and cynicism in an economy.”
Proctor Nyemba of Proctor Associates, one of the organisers of the conference, said through engagement the government and its partners should be in a position to combat fraud in the country.
“We don’t have internal systems to prevent some forms of fraud that are being committed in the country especially information technology fraud,” he said.
Several other delegates including those from Kenya and Middle East are expected to address the conference which ends on Wednesday.