HARARE — Lack of political will is standing in the way of the fight against corruption in Zimbabwe, top lawyers have said.
This came to light at a consultative workshop on the assessment of Zimbabwe’s anti-corruption laws convened by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa at the Bronte Hotel in the capital recently.
Presenting their reports, legal practitioners Alan Chaumba and retired Justice Majuru said Zimbabwe has taken positive steps in enacting anti-corruption legislation in Zimbabwe through the Constitution that gave rise to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
“First, there is need to consolidate all corruption-related legislative matters in one law to create a comprehensive legal framework and also to examine ways to enhance coordination among the different institutions,” Chaumba said.
Justice Majuru said the solution to dealing with corruption from a legal perspective is in capacitating and operationalising the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and blamed political bickering for stalling the process.
“ZACC has the power to investigate and expose corruption both in the public and private sector. It is also empowered to combat corruption, theft, misappropriation, abuse of power and other ipmproper conduct in the public and private sectors,” Majuru said.
Apart from promoting honesty, financial discipline and transparency in the public and private sectors, Majuru said ZACC also has power to direct the Commissioner-General of Police to investigate cases of suspected corruption and to report to the Commission of any such investigation.
Majuru bemoaned the fact that at a time corruption cases are on the increase, government has not renewed the mandate of ZACC commissioners except that of its chairman, rendering the institution a toothless bulldog.
To that end, Majuru and Chaumba urged authorities to channel adequate financial and human resources to relevant anti-corruption bodies like ZACC, Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Department of Anti-Corruption and Anti Monopolies in the Ministry of Home affairs.
“Enhanced technical assistance could also be handy in fully implementing anti-corruption legislation. This could be through capacity building programmes for authorities responsible for establishing and managing protection programmes,” Chaumba said.