HARARE – It has to be noted that corruption is a disease that needs to be eliminated at whatever cost and this is evidenced by most states criminalising the act.
In Zimbabwe, corruption in all its forms is illegal and to this effect, various institutions and laws have been put in place like the Anti-Corruption Commission, to deal with the scourge.
However, corruption in the country has grown to pervade all systems of governance mostly due to lack of political will to contain it.
Public sector units that interface with the general public have become known more for the corruption inherent in their systems than for the services they provide.
Corruption consumes society’s fabric and destroys a nation’s value systems.
In societies riddled with corruption, hard work, integrity and sustainability lose meaning and in their place come mediocrity, greed, deceitfulness, and civil strife.
We believe this is the right time for everyone in the country, from corporates, public institutions and individuals to stamp out corruption and focus on economic prosperity and national development that is crucial to poverty alleviation and raising people’s living standards.
Corruption is bleeding the nation through substantial economic losses, resource misallocation and capital flight which scares away foreign investors.
This week, it was revealed by Zimra commissioner general, Gershom Pasi that the country lost $2 billion last year to corruption and considering that Zimbabwe has a national budget of $4 billion, this is a significant amount which could have been channelled towards economic development.
On the international arena, the vice has condemned the country to number 163 out of 178 nations ranked by Transparency International (2012), Corruption Perceptions Index.
Although President Robert Mugabe has recognised corruption as a problem in the country and repeatedly called for action against it, evidence on the ground suggests otherwise.
However, the buck does not stop with the president to curb this vice which cuts across the political, social and economic divide and has deadly effects on politics, economy, administration and national institutions, posing a serious threat to development.
We all envision a corruption-free society where its citizens are guarded by national interest, professionalism and integrity for the development of the nation. We should all join hands in fighting corruption and cursing it for its damaging effect on business, industry, government services, and the people’s livelihood.
Leaders in all sectors of the economy should lead from the front in the fight against corruption and should inspire efforts to put in place effective measures that nip the scourge in the bud.
Strong anti-corruption posturing should inform the conduct of every leader in both the public and private sectors.