Zimbabwe’s Top Officials Pledge to Combat Corruption

Government leaders sign integrity pledges and form anti-graft committees

by Victor Adetimilehin

Zimbabwe’s government leaders have vowed to fight corruption and promote a culture of honesty and integrity in their institutions. More than a hundred chief directors and directors from various ministries signed integrity pledges on Wednesday as part of an initiative by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).

The integrity pledges are social contracts through which individuals affirm their commitment to act against corruption. They are expected to conduct themselves ethically and lawfully in all aspects of their work and to report any cases of malfeasance.

The signing of the pledges precedes the establishment of integrity committees, which will spearhead the prevention of corruption in all government departments. The committees will be composed of representatives from the PSC, ZACC, the Auditor-General’s Office, and the civil society.

Dr. Tsitsi Choruma, the PSC secretary, said the chief directors and directors had been chosen to lead the anti-corruption crusade because they are the custodians and agents of public service delivery.

“As leaders within our organizations, and as custodians and agents, it is crucial that we set a positive example for those that we lead. As you sign the integrity pledge, you are re-affirming the collective dedication to fight corruption, promoting a culture of honesty and integrity,” she said in a speech read on her behalf by Ms. Grace Machakaire, the general manager of talent management.

Ms. Jessie Majome, the ZACC commissioner for legal affairs, said the integrity pledges and committees were part of the national anti-corruption strategy, which was launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2020.  Moreover, she said the strategy aimed to create a corruption-free society by 2030, in line with the country’s vision of becoming an upper-middle-income economy.

Also, she urged the government leaders to uphold the values of transparency, accountability, and professionalism in their work and to cooperate with ZACC in its investigations and prosecutions.

“Corruption is a cancer that eats away at the fabric of our nation. It undermines development, erodes trust, and fuels inequality. We need to work together to root out this scourge and restore the dignity and prosperity of our people,” she said.

According to Transparency International, Zimbabwe ranked 157 out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index in 2023, with a score of 24 out of 100. The index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption based on expert assessments and surveys of business executives.

However, the government has expressed its commitment to improve its ranking and reputation by implementing various reforms and measures to curb corruption and enhance good governance. Some of the measures include the enactment of the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Asset Declaration and Disclosure Framework, and the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.

The government has also increased its budget allocation for ZACC and the Auditor-General’s Office, as well as strengthened its cooperation with regional and international anti-corruption bodies.

The signing of the integrity pledges and the formation of the integrity committees are expected to boost the confidence and morale of the public and the private sector in the government’s efforts to tackle corruption and improve service delivery.

Finally, the government leaders who signed the pledges expressed their willingness and readiness to abide by them and to support the anti-corruption agenda.

Source: The Herald 

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