‘Transparency key in graft fight’


THE government has been urged to establish an open contracting system to curb corruption in the procurement of public goods especially in the health sector.
This comes as Zimbabwe maintained its 2019 score of 24 out of 100 with a global ranking of 157 out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) done by Transparency International (TI).

TI Zimbabwe noted how countries most affected by corruption were failing to deal with the Covid-19 since there was rampant looting of funds and goods channelled towards fighting the pandemic.

“The government should adopt open and transparent contracting to ensure that public procurement is effected in a manner that is transparent, fair, honest, cost effective and competitive consistent with section 315 of the Constitution.

“The 2020 CPI reveals that endemic corruption is weakening the response to the pandemic further threatening the people’s health, lives, livelihoods and economies.

“Based on the report countries which performed well in the CPI have functional health systems and are equally faring well in the fight against Covid-19.

“In contrast corruption has undermined the health care system in Zimbabwe with public resources being diverted for private gain,” TIZ said in a statement.

The corruption watchdog said the government needs to empower such bodies like Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and the National Prosecution Authority (NPA).

“The government should strengthen anticorruption agencies and oversight institutions. Anti-Corruption agencies such as the Zacc and the NPA must be capacitated financially and technically so that they diligently exercise their duties.

“These institutions should also be afforded operational independence as afforded by the Constitution. “The government should adopt a whistleblower law in order to facilitate reporting of corruption and abuse of
public office.

“TIZ encourages the government to come up with a whistleblower policy that protects whistleblowers that will enable the public to timely report,” added TIZ.

Commenting on Zimbabwe’s performance on the latest CPI report last week, Zacc spokesperson, John Makamure, admitted a lot has to be done if the country is to get rid of graft.

“Of course, the score is not pleasing, Zimbabwe has to improve, the country definitely has to improve. We are happy, though, with the steps that have been taken, some of the achievements that we have realised but we have a long way to go.

“We fully agree with the recommendations from the CPI 2020 of strengthening oversight institutions. We need to prevent corruption; we need our oversight institutions to be as strong as possible. They must be well capacitated to carry out their mandate,” he said.

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