Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) in conjunction with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) yesterday launched the anti-corruption awareness campaign in Harare.
Among the attendees were President Emmerson Mnangagwa, justice sector actors, civil society and business representatives, as well as diplomats.
The campaign which is targets Zimbabweans and aims to educate people to mitigate the rampant corruption activities is funded by the European Union and the International Commission of Jurists ICJ, up until November 2020.
In his stance on fighting corruption, Mnangagwa said no one is above the law and the days of impunity were over. Recently ex-vice president Phelekezela Mphoko was involved in a run with anti-corruption agents when he resisted efforts to have him sign a cautioned statement.
“The public should be encouraged that the culture of impunity has ended. No-one is above the law”, said Mnangagwa.
The president has challenged the media fraternity to be proactive in fighting corruption by adhering to media ethics.
“You in the media fraternity should help to change the general attitude on corruption at every level, by fostering a culture of integrity, through trustworthy, fair, frank and honest communication to citizens,” said President Mnangagwa.
The president said the media’s role was to disseminate information on corruption awareness and not only focusing on high profile figures.
“I specifically challenge media to promote a culture of integrity and assist in the dissemination of knowledge on corruption and anti-corruption measures, beyond almost exclusively focusing merely on high profile corruption cases,” added Mnangagwa.
To combat corruption he urged the public officials to always put behind all personal interests and forge ahead with advancing the publics’ interest.
“Endeavor to always separate public and personal interest and to put the concerns of our people above personal benefits,” noted Mnangagwa.
The president buttressed the need for public officials to self-impose disciplining measures with help to combat corruption. He warned those in procurement to avoid corruption and adopt new ethical ways of doing business.
“As public officials, we should impose stricter discipline on ourselves, individually and collectively, for the good of our fellow citizens. Let us pledge to increase our honesty, efficiency and fairness in the manner we conduct Government business. I do not expect any cases of procurement corruption, as we go forward. Those tasked with the procurement function must abandon and forsake the old ways of doing things by adopting the highest ethical and professional standards in undertaking public procurement,” said Mnangagwa
National Prosecuting Authority, Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi said corruption was a cancer that was stalling economic development in the country.
“People are too drunk on corruption to realize that they are contributing to the growth of this cancer called corruption. Corruption chokes our economic development,” said Hodzi
The European Union Ambassador Timo Olkkonen said corruption was a crisis that needed urgent attention, and the EU was proud to be working with ZAAC and the National Prosecuting Authority in this campaign.
“We are proud to support the fight against corruption, we believe it is a crisis that needs to be urgently and seriously addressed,” said Olkkonen.
Whistleblowing is another mechanism that exposes corruption cases. Mnangagwa noted that the Whistleblower Protection Act will be revamped to favorable conditions in order to protect citizens.
“the amending of the Whistleblower Protection Act to protect our citizens and motivate them to bring forward any suspected cases of corruption, will be speeded up,” noted the president.
Zacc chairperson Justice Joice Matanda-Moyo said the campaign was targeting to educate the entire population and was going to run until November 2020.
The anti-corruption awareness campaign is part of a broader longstanding rule of law initiatives by the ICJ in collaboration with stakeholders in the justice sector, to strengthen the rule of law for the protection and promotion of human rights for all, this includes women and persons from marginalized or disadvantaged groups.
“Zimbabwe has no option but to fight corruption if it is to be a just, peaceful and successful developmental state. The reconstituted ZACC has demonstrated a strong desire to pursue its mandate with a renewed commitment from other stakeholders in the justice delivery chain,” said Arnold Tsunga, ICJ’s Africa Regional Director.
The campaign launch was attended by justice sector actors, civil society representatives, business representatives and the diplomatic community.
The campaign is not undertaken in isolation. It builds on other initiatives to combat corruption under this programme, which include the establishment of an anti-corruption court, training of personnel for the court and various research initiatives.
SADC News Zimbabwe Correspondent