BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has red-flagged several local authorities for failure to comply with their institutional policies and operational frameworks, thus fuelling corrupt practices.
Zacc recently conducted compliance assessments, spot checks, systems and process review assessments at several institutions including eight local authorities and discovered that the majority were non-compliant.
Speaking at the implementation matrix signing ceremony held in Harare yesterday, Zacc chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said the findings of the spot checks conducted depicted an “ugly pattern of corruption” within rural district councils.
She said the compliance spot-check exercises were conducted at rural councils in Umzingwane, Mutoko, Mudzi, Makonde and Zaka and three urban councils, namely Norton, Karoi and Chegutu.
The implementation matrix will ensure timely correction of identified anomalies.
Zacc had placed the institutions into three categories, which are the red zone, which is for institutions that are non-compliant with the system; the green zone, for those that are in total compliance; and the amber, for those that signal partial compliance.
Of the eight local authorities checked, six of them fell in the red zone while two were in the amber, and no local authority fell in the green zone.
“This performance rating is a prevention of corruption initiative for the purpose of determining the state of corruption in institutions. Zacc adopted the concept of implementation matrix as an effective tool to ensure consensual and timely correction of identified anomalies and non-compliance with legal, administrative, and operational procedures,” Matanda-Moyo said.
“Based on compliance spot checks and investigations conducted in rural and urban councils, an ugly pattern of corruption practices was noted.”
She said councillors were abusing service benefits and allocating themselves multiple residential stands and other public resources.
“As highlighted previously, local authorities are the key drivers of economic growth and development in the country. Thus the management of local government activities require enlightened council policymakers, competent management, and skilled staff,” Matanda-Moyo said.
“In view of that, I would like to appeal to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to intensify capacity-building programmes for councillors, management and staff to enhance high standards of service delivery.”
Zacc compliance assurance and systems review manager Clara Nyakotyo said the non-compliance was due to lack of supervision.
“Today, we signed the implementation matrix with only eight local authorities, but we plan to sign with all the local authorities so that we monitor them all to curb possible losses of public funds to corruption,” she said.
Nyakotyo added that most local authorities were found wanting on issues relating to recruitment, disbursement of devolution funds and land allocation.
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