‘Collaborate to fight corruption’

Women Coalition of Zimbabwe representative Ronah Mugadza

Anti-corruption activists and stakeholders have been urged to collaborate in fighting graft.

Zimbabwe is experiencing corruption in virtually all sectors of the economy and according to Transparency International, the country is ranked 157th among the 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index, where the country ranked last is perceived to have the most corrupt public sector. Women Coalition of Zimbabwe representative Ronah Mugadza said multi-stakeholder partnerships had the potential to provide far greater value than the sum of their parts.

“You have to create collaborations with authorities such as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and other bodies that are fighting corruption. Establish and sign a memorandum of understanding with the government and build relationships with them,” Mugadza told delegates at a meeting organised by Zimbabwe Women Against Corruption Trust (ZWACT) in Harare.

Mugadza said this was possible through changes in government legislation, establishing models or norms.

“You need to understand these laws and policies… Get to understand local laws first and then what international laws say about corruption. As a civil society group you need to operate within your mandate and stick to the laws of the country,” she said.

Mugadza said it was imperative for anti-corruption champions to equip women with knowledge on maternal health rights and how to access services.

“Improve women’s access to information to reduce vulnerability to corruption. Strengthen women’s voices on issues of corruption and governance through engagements on specific issues,” she said.

ZWACT director Sandra Matendere said as a woman-led organisation, the training was necessary considering the sensitivity of corruption issues.

“It is important for corruption champions to understand their role and the importance of having strategies of protecting themselves from backlash as well as increasing their effectiveness,” she said.

She said ZWACT was working together with like-minded organisations such as NANGO, Zimcodd and WCoZ, among others in empowering vulnerable groups, especially women.

“We are also creating an enabling environment by creating synergies between the government and citizens in fighting corruption,” Matendere said.

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