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‘No political will against corruption’

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Transparency International (TI), a global coalition that is fighting corruption, has described Zimbabwe as a complicated case that has no political will to fight corruption.

Responding to questions from NewsDay during a visit to the group’s offices in Berlin last Thursday, TI projects manager for Africa Servaas Feiertag, compared the Zimbabwean situation to that of Rwanda saying civic society groups had limited space to influence prosecution of corrupt people.
He said there was limited space for civic society to play its role.

“There is no political will to prosecute (alleged corrupt officials) in Zimbabwe. At the moment, Zanu PF and MDC are in the government together, but there remains no political will,” Feiertag said.

“Zimbabwe’s case is a complicated one because many forces are in control now despite the inclusive government. No one knows when the elections are coming or when the country will have a new constitution.” Feiertag said he had many examples on corruption in Zimbabwe arguing the country was losing out.

“There are strange cases, but that is reality.”
He dismissed reports TI Zimbabwe chapter was an appendage of MDC-T saying it was an independent group determined to fight corruption in Zimbabwe.
“TI Zimbabwe is very active, like it has committees around the country.

“It often gets comments that what they do is for the (former) opposition and always fights the government, but they just do their job.

“It’s not a political party,” he said. Zimbabwe was ranked 134 out of 178 in last year’s corruption perception index released by TI, an indication a lot needed to be done to stop endemic corruption in the country.

TI Zimbabwe has called for action against high-ranking government officials, but no action has been taken by relevant authorities to prosecute them.

“There is limitation for civic society to operate. Political and social pressure can be enormous and make operations difficult,” said Feiertag.

He said civic society members should play it safe in dealing with corruption issues especially in risky countries like Zimbabwe.

“We want people to be alive and happy. We don’t want to risk the lives of our people,” he said.

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