Any organisation can devise mechanisms to fight corruption

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Harare (New Ziana) –Any organisation that genuinely wants to fight corruption can come up with policies and measures to deal with the vice within its systems, an official has said.

Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) spokesperson, John Makamure, told New Ziana that organisations that are determined to promote a corruption-free environment were permitted to formulate policies towards dealing with the practice.

“If they want to promote transparency, accountability and ethical conduct, they can introduce policies to that effect. They do not need to wait for someone to do it for them,” he said.

Makamure was responding to comments by a senior official from the Registrar- General’s Office, suggesting that they were waiting for ZACC to carry out lifestyle audits of its staff.

The official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, had told New Ziana that they expected ZACC to conduct lifestyle audits of their staff, whose corrupt tendencies have made the process of acquiring national identity documents a living hell for many people.

He said most of their staff did everything to hide their lavish lifestyles and avoid being suspected of engaging in corruption, including parking the posh cars that they drive, distances away, and walking on foot to and from the offices.

The high levels of corruption at the RG’s Office have remained a major concern for the authorities and stakeholders, with various recommendations made on ways to end it.

While the department has introduced some measures to curb the vice, stakeholders contend that these were half-hearted, amid suspicion that some of the top officials, who should be introducing measures to stamp out the practice, were also involved.

Stakeholders cite the failure by the department to introduce closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) at its centres and lifestyle audits, as evidence of the lack of commitment.

Civil Registry officials are known to create artificial bottlenecks in the process of acquiring national identity documents in order to coerce the public to pay bribes to secure services, or to jump the
queues.

Some of the officials allegedly employ touts who mill outside the offices, soliciting for bribes from desperate members of the public.

The charges range from $30 for a birth certificate to$150 for anordinary passport.

Makamure said while ZACC could conduct lifestyle audits for organisations upon request, it did not have the capacity to do it for every organisation in the country.

“There is nothing which stops organisations that genuinely want to fight corruption from coming up with policies towards corruption,” he said.

Since the amendment of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act in 2020, ZACC was relying on unexplained wealth orders to compel individuals to explain the sources of their wealth.

“We can obtain court orders for someone to explain their wealth,” he explained.

“The onus is on the accused to satisfy the courts on the sources of their riches.”

Former Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner-General, Augustine Chihuri, is currently before the courts to explain the source of his massive wealth, which he is being accused of corruptly acquiring during his 25-year tenure at the helm of the law enforcement agency.

Chihuri stands accused of side-tracking US$32 million of public funds into family companies and buying properties when he was head of the police force.

Former Zimbabwe Revenue Official revenue officer Kennedy Nyatoti made history in 2020 when he became the first person to lose assets under the asset forfeiture law, after his US$150 000 mansion and US$10 000 car were forfeited to the State when he failed to explain how he could afford these.

Nyatoti, whose income between October 2014 and May 2018 when he built the US$15 000 mansion, was US$44 907, did not have any additional private income.
New Ziana

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