BY VENERANDA LANGA
ZIMBABWE Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo yesterday urged Parliament to tighten legislation to ensure that all illegally-acquired wealth siphoned out of the country is recovered.
She made the call during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Parliament, Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) and the African Parliamentarians Network against Corruption (APNAC) where the organisations vowed to collaborate in fighting graft.
Her remarks came as the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda revealed that the country had lost more than US$3 billion in illicit financial flows between 2015 and 2017. “It is the role of Parliament to ensure corruption prevention measures are in place, to promote transparency and accountability, the criminalisation of corruption and the recovery of assets and, therefore, this will require APNAC to influence Parliament to enact favourable laws to assist Zacc to recover all assets siphoned within and outside the borders of Zimbabwe,” Matanda-Moyo said.
“The commission has arrested MPs over allegations of corruption and in instances, some are under investigation.”
The Zacc boss said MPs should declare their assets, adding that Parliament should expedite promulgation of the Whistleblower Protection Act to ensure corruption is nipped in the bud. “The Standing Rules and Orders Committee (SROC) must ensure that people of integrity that are high willed to fight corruption are appointed to Zacc,” she said. Mudenda lauded Zacc for creating awareness and exposing corruption.
“About US$2, 4 billion was lost in the mining sector and an estimated US$864 million was remitted outside the country under dubious circumstances in 2015.
“Financial data shows that Zimbabwe lost US$750 million in 2015 through trade under invoicing. IFFs [Illicit Financial Flows] are driven by crime, bribery, terrorism, corruption, drug trafficking, money laundering, and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe systems lost US$3 billion in 2015 to 2017,” Mudenda said.
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He said Parliament had a critical role in improving governance and accountability over public resources, adding that the scourge of corruption had become so endemic on the continent. Senate president Mabel Chinomona said: “Parliament and civil society will not stand and watch while Zimbabwe is destroyed by corruption. In fighting corruption, we are bound to make enemies among the numerous beneficiaries of this vice.”
TIZ executive director Muchaneta Mundopa said the signing of the MoU would facilitate implementation of the national anti-corruption strategy launched in July. Speaking at the same event, APNAC chairperson Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga called on law enforcement agents to recover money siphoned out of the country.