Anti-graft body says no money to investgate corruption outside Harare

Anti-graft body says no money to investgate corruption outside Harare

HARARE, July 31 (The Source) – The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) says it has no money to carry out investigations outside the capital Harare due to limited funding from Treasury.

The anti-graft body was this year allocated $2,1 million from the national budget which it says is not enough to meet operational demands.

“The problem of financial limitation in the country has made it impossible for decentralisation to take place. The anti-corruption commission is only in Harare. It’s not decentralized into the provinces and districts.It is as if corruption only exists in the Harare yet it is everywhere,” ZACC chairperson Job Whabira told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services but did not say how much would be adequate.

“If we had resources, we would establish offices in the provinces and the districts so that whistleblowers can go and report the corruption taking place in their areas.”

Chief investigations officer Alex Masiya told the same committee that ZACC operations were also hamstrung by inadequate staff.

“The investigations department has 36 officers and out of that, 21 are seconded officers from the police and other stakeholders, leaving Zacc with 15 officers to carry out investigations,” he said.

ZACC has yet to resolve a single case and is accused of being used to achieve political ends in President Robert Mugabe’s faction-riddled ZANU-PF party.

It routinely ignores adverse reports by the country’s auditor-general on abuse of public sector funds. In 2015 the auditor-general found 22 ministries, out of a total 26, to have abused funds as well as having flouted procurement procedures and governance rules.

Acting secretary Silence Pondo told the Parliamentary hearing that ZACC had referred 12 cases to the courts for prosecution since last year.

“A total of 421 reports were received from the time this commission was sworn in in February 2016. Out of the 421, we had 136 non- mandate offences. We closed 145 cases of which there was no evidence,” he said.

“To date, we have 12 which were referred to court through the National Prosecuting Authority for prosecution and they involve fraud, money laundering and theft.”

ZACC’s most high profile case last year was its unsuccessful bid to have Higher Education Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo arrested over allegations of diverting $430,000 meant for government programmes to personal use.

The case is still pending before the courts.

Zimbabwe ranked 154 out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s  2016 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) with a score of 22 points, from 21 over the past three years.

TI is a leading global crusader against graft.

Editors Note: In the story “undefined” sent at: 31/07/2017 18:07

This is a corrected repeat.