Zim loses $2bn to corruption

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HARARE – Zimbabwe lost approximately $2 billion to corruption last year, tax collector Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) said.

This comes as the country was rated among the most corrupt nations in southern Africa in a recent Transparency International (TI) survey, ranking 163 out of 176 countries.

TI’s corruption perception index — ranking countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived — indicated that Zimbabwe’s corruption record continued to worsen after falling nine places from 154 last year.

Gershom Pasi, Zimra’s commissioner-general, yesterday said according to Professor Deon Rossouw of TI, a total $6 billion was corruptly earned in Africa.

“Nigeria was corruptly involved at $3 billion, while Zimbabwe was at $2 billion and South Africa was at $0,7 billion,” he told a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) symposium on business ethics,  anti-bribery and corruption.

Pasi said corruption in Zimbabwe had reached unprecedented levels and government could not take the fight alone.

“Government needs partnership with the private sector and the society at large. There will be synergies that accrue when the public sector and the private sector join hands,” he said, adding that the “fight against corruption should be grounded in the doctrine and philosophy of ubuntu, a concept whose foundation was based on sound human relations in African societies”.

“It is a deep-rooted African philosophy that carries high values of caring, sharing, inclusivity, compassion, and communalism,” he said.

Eve Gadzikwa, CZI’s business ethics and standards committee chairperson, added that “the country can only successfully implement programmes for socio-economic transformation when it puts same efforts in implementing austerity measures to curb the scourge.”

This comes as government has indicated that it will employ yet another economic blueprint dubbed “Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio-Economic Transformation” (Zimaset) at a time when corruption has ravaged the meagre financial resources within the economy.

“We cannot have economic development and attract foreign direct investment (FDI) if there is no attention to detail when it comes to bribery and corruption.

“What it does is, whilst you are putting together a programme for socio-economic transformation at the same there are little resources that we have are being drained through corrupt and unethical conduct in government and business,” said Gadzikwa.

Finance deputy minister Samuel Undenge also said corruption had become complex and an interconnected problem and the most effective solutions to it must be collective.

“A multi-dimensional approach to dealing with corruption should be adopted, taking on board both public and private sector solutions,” said Undenge.

He added that government will soon implement measures necessary to stop corruption in all its forms and at all levels of government.

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