North legislator, Temba Mliswa, has called for the rotation of the District Development Coordinators (DDCs) as a way of dealing with corruption, especially in the issue of land allocation.
Corruption in the allocation of land remains one of the topical issues in Zimbabwe.
Speaking in the National Assembly during a question and answer session, Mliswa said some DDCs were behind some of the land corruption scandals, suggesting rotating them could help minimise the scourge.
“I see that the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement has done well in removing District Land Officers who were very corrupt in the distribution of land but the chief culprits again are the DDCs,” said Mliswa.
“A good example is Chegutu where we visited the DDC for Chegutu, Mr. Tomu with the war veterans wanting to know what has been happening to their land. He was very rude. The question is that the DDCs are very corrupt; they are the chairpersons of the lands committee.”
He further said: “Removing the officers of the land is not good enough. We want to know when they are going to rotate the District Development Coordinators just like the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement has done. Also, may other ministries follow suit by changing them around because corruption still happens as the DDCs still protect the outgoing Lands Officers who are there.
Responding to that, Local Government Deputy Minister, Marian Chombo said they do not have a policy of rotating DDCs.
“My Ministry does not have a policy of rotating the DDCs but whenever there is anyone who is corrupt, we have tried to address them case by case,” she said.
“If you have any issues with Chegutu, I will appreciate it if you can highlight it but it has not come to my office that we have corrupt officials there. My Ministry will do the best it can to make sure we address it if that is happening.”
But Mliswa insisted that that has to be adopted as a good culture even in the absence of a policy.
“Police officers are shifted around to avoid corruption,” he said.
“So for the ministry not to have such a policy actually confirms the rumours that the ministers are using them to be corrupt thus they do not get moved around. There is no civil servant who cannot be moved around. Civil servants must be moved around so that there is no corruption but her answer now affirms the fact that the ministers keep them there so that they continue with corrupt activities because they are the head hunters and so forth. I am shocked that there is no policy to rotate civil servants to avoid corruption.”
Chombo however said: “No, we do not use them to perpetuate corrupt practices but you have brought up a good suggestion that maybe rotating them will hinder corrupt tendencies. We will try to make sure that we also use that within the ministry.”