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ED Pledges To Intensify Fight Against Corruption

President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday pledged to intensify the fight against corruption saying his administration is reorienting all sectors of the economy including the public, private, and non- governmental institutions towards a culture of honesty, accountability and transparency.

In a virtual address at the ongoing United Nations Special Session of the General Assembly on challenges and measures to prevent and combat corruption and strengthen international cooperation, Mnangagwa declared that Zimbabwe is on the cusp of winning the war against the scourge which has led to the running down of key parastatals.

“The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and National Prosecuting Authority are both now fully operational while an Anti-Money Laundering Act is now in force. The implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy for the period 2020-2024, is in full swing,” he said.

Mnangagwa further stated that the Zanu-PF-led government is in the process of embracing ICTs to mitigate corruption at ll levels by reducing human interferences in some processes.

“Under the asset recovery strategy, the Asset Recovery Unit traces and recovers assets both within and outside our borders. My country continues to deploy ICTs to enhance efficiencies and to reduce human interference in service delivery which should also help combat corruption,” he said.

However, Zimbabwe is no stranger to corruption with the 2020 Global Corruption Barometer alluding that 25 percent of people using public services in Zimbabwe had been required to pay a bribe in the 12 months prior and 60 percent of people felt corruption had increased in the same time.

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The Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Zimbabwe 157 out of 180 countries, with a score of 24/100, where a score of 100 means there is no corruption present. According to Transparency International, corruption costs around $2 billion each year.

Mnangagwa said the establishment of specialized courts was a long shot at trying to control and minimize the rate of corruption within the society.

“In addition, Zimbabwe has established specialized courts for handling corruption and economic crimes throughout the country. To augment these efforts, my administration set up a special anti-corruption unit to assist the anti-corruption commission in the prosecution of high-profile cases,” he stated.

During the meeting, Member States expressed concern about the serious threats posed by corruption to the stability and security of societies, as well as the phenomenon’s potential to undermine the institutions and values of democracy and jeopardize sustainable development and the rule of law.

They recognized the negative impact corruption can have on access to basic services and human rights while noting that it may also exacerbate poverty and inequality and disproportionately affect the world’s most disadvantaged people.

The Assembly noted that the loss of resources caused by corruption may constitute a substantial proportion of State resources — with a particularly negative impact on developing countries — and that those challenges have been exacerbated by the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Reaffirming support for the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the bodies created under it, as well as for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it committed to preventing and combating corruption and strengthen international cooperation to fight it, while respecting the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.

Pledging to step up efforts to promote and implement global anti‑corruption obligations and commitments, and to demonstrate the necessary political will, Member States also made a series of commitments in seven key areas:  prevention; criminalization and law enforcement; international cooperation; asset recovery; technical assistance; anti-corruption as a driver of sustainable development; and advancing a forward-looking anti-corruption agenda.

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