The opposition party United Movement for Devolution (UMD) has called on the government to put measures in place to fight corruption in the country.
The party president, Lovemore Moyo, said they are concerned about the Zanu PF government’s inability to decisively combat corruption and stop the widespread looting of state resources.
“The continued corruption, looting, and theft of public funds in an unscrupulous and corrupt manner involving high-ranking government officials and associates greatly undermine the government’s ability to fund crucial projects, infrastructure maintenance, medicine and service delivery in our communities,” he said.
“Corruption significantly reduces government expenditure on critical services. In essence, this destabilises the fabric of society, endangers the existence of the rule of law, and threatens sustainable economic development and prosperity of the nation. The level of corruption in a country and government’s commitment and resolve to fight corruption is usually used as one determining factor when engaging international institutions for possible development cooperation.”
Moyo recommended that going forward, the government strengthen the operations and independence of the three arms of the state, namely the Executive, Parliament, and Judiciary, in order to enhance the doctrine of separation of powers, which allow checks and balances.
“The government must fully investigate the allegations of corruption scandals in the so-called Gold Mafia, Lithium smuggling, diamonds, and recent helicopter acquisition. There is need to establish a commission of inquiry into Corruption Scandals dating back to the year 1980 in order to bring to closure and demand accountability from those responsible for the corruption scandals,” Moyo said.
“The government must investigate the allocation of mining claims and ownership structures of existing Mines and their viability in order to determine the state of mining in the country. It must to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Commission through the provision of adequate resources and promote its independence,” he said.
Moyo added that it should be mandatory for public officers and government employees to publicly declare their wealth, businesses, and incomes upon assumption of public office.
“It is also important to give the other anti-corruption agencies necessary space, independence, and resources to execute their mandate without fear or favour. The government should make it mandatory to demand transparency and accountability and undertake regular audits of the assets, businesses, and sources of funding,” he said.
“They should also undertake lifestyle audits of any individual that the anti-corruption agencies deemed necessary to question or investigate suspected individuals. It is important to harshly punish perpetrators of corruption, looters, land barons, and mining warlords, who have turned the mining sector into war zones.”
Moyo said government should put in place a legal instrument that will enable anti-corruption agencies to recover illicit proceeds accrued from corruption, looting, and theft locally and abroad.