Economic cleansing process begins

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa presents his 2018 National Budget proposals in Parliament yesterday

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa presents his 2018 National Budget proposals in Parliament yesterday

Herbert Zharare Assistant Business Editor
Government has started a cleansing process targeting unlawful and illegitimate transactions, money laundering, externalisation of foreign currency and underground foreign exchange deals, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.

This comes as Government has granted a moratorium on individuals and corporates who externalised money to return it within three months or face prosecution.

Presenting his 2018 National Budget proposals at Parliament yesterday, Minister Chinamasa said over the years, corruption had spread unchecked, undermining the social and moral fabric of the nation.

“Corruption and market indiscipline also increase the cost of doing business, and encourage rent-seeking behaviour, thereby increasing hardships for the general public. His Excellency, the President (Mnangagwa), in his inauguration speech, underscored that this syndrome will be decisively dealt with,” he said.

Highlights

  • Workers above 65 years of age to be retired.
  • Recruitment frozen.
  • Voluntary retirement scheme offered.
  • Cuts in staff benefits loom.
  • Redundant officers to be retired.
  • Rationalisation of youth officers. 
  • 528 unqualified Public Service members to go.
  • First class air travel for most Govt officers banned.
  • Vehicle scheme for senior Govt officials reviewed.
  • Indigenisation law revised.

Minister Chinamasa said digitalisation of financial services needs to be speeded up to make it difficult for people to engage in dishonest and corrupt practices.
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“Further intensification of Government interventions to curb incidences of corruption, plug revenue leakages, as well as arrest market indiscipline, will also buttress the successful implementation of the 2018 Budget,” he said.

As such, across all Government agencies, Minister Chinamasa said the quality of service would be required to be more facilitative and devoid of corrupt practices.

“This is moreso as Zimbabwe competes with its regional neighbours for investment, business and tourism,” he said. “Appeals from stakeholders also make it necessary that such Government agencies as the police, ZIMRA, EMA, VID, etc revisit their mandates and service charters to avoid kuswera vakamira pama roadblocks in large numbers” extorting money from the public.

“Public perceptions to the effect that ukangowona mupurisa, ZIMRA, EMA, VID etc wotoziva kuti mari yave kubuda are not conducive to a country’s development,” he said.

Finance and Economic Planning Minister Patrick Chinamasa flanked by his wife Monica pose for pictures on arrival for the 2018 budget presentation at parliament building in Harare today - Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda

Finance and Economic Planning Minister Patrick Chinamasa flanked by his wife Monica pose for pictures on arrival for the 2018 budget presentation at parliament building in Harare today – Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda

Treasury authority had been granted to various agencies of Government to retain for their own utilisation earnings, fees and fines that would ordinarily be surrendered to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, he said.

“Regrettably, this dispensation is increasingly also being abused as agencies depart from their core mandates and focus on revenue raising, also with corrupt practices and extortionist tendencies permeating in.

“Consequently, over and above the transparency arrangements for retentions being ushered in by the 2018 Budget, Treasury will not hesitate to withdraw Retention Authority where the above practices are reported.”

For purposes of encouraging whistle-blowers who have vital information which could aid in combating corruption in the public sector to come forward, Minister Chinamsa said the 2018 Budget had also proposed that facilities or hotlines be established specifically for the purpose.

He said state institutions charged with tackling corruption would be required to demonstrate a higher degree of transparency in order to monitor the progress.

“As such, State institutions set up to combat corruption and crime, such as the National Prosecuting Authority, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the Zimbabwe Republic Police, will be required to publish reports once every quarter giving statistics on the: number of arrests made; number of successful prosecutions or convictions; and value of money or property recovered, as a result of their interventions,” said Minister Chinamasa.

“Furthermore, demonstrable efforts to recover proceeds of criminal activities through the institution of civil process against the offenders, in terms of section 4 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07], will be called for,” he said.

He said easy and ready access to information by the public would also enhance accountability of public institutions.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa arrives for the 2018 budget presentation at Parliament Building in Harare today- Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda

President Emmerson Mnangagwa arrives for the 2018 budget presentation at Parliament Building in Harare today- Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda

“Given the high correlation between the incidence of corruption and the extent of bureaucratic red tape, under the auspices of the Ease of Doing Business, needless regulations will continue to be eliminated, while safeguarding the essential regulatory functions of the State,” he said.

In this regard, Minister Chinamasa said it was envisaged that the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act, an Act that seeks to tighten, reorganise and improve procurement system, would become effective 1 January 2018.

“This will dispense with the former dispensation, which had inherent weaknesses that resulted in Government awarding tenders to undeserving companies and individuals, to the detriment of cost considerations and service delivery.

“In close association with this, it is intended that the Public Entities Corporate Governance Bill, which is currently before Parliament, be passed in the first quarter of 2018,” he said.

The Bill seeks to professionalise the manner in which public entities carry out their day to day functions, as well as rationalise the remuneration payable to members and employees of such entities.

This, he said, would do away with unsustainable remunerations that board members normally award themselves.

He said the 2018 Budget proposed to regularise life style audits of all public office holders for the purposes of ensuring that they were commensurate with their level of income.

“Where it is palpably manifest that their asset base is inconsistent with their level of income, it must be incumbent upon that officer to give an account of their sources of income justifying their wealth.

“Failure to provide an adequate explanation by the office holder would result in an investigation into their financial affairs, should this be necessary,” he said.

Minister Chinamasa regretted that little action was being taken to address identified institutional shortcomings, notwithstanding the red flags dutifully raised by the Auditor General.

Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Cde Supa Mandiwanzira(R) arrives at the Parliament Building alongside Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Major General Dr Sibusiso Moyo-Picture by Wilson Kakurira

Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Cde Supa Mandiwanzira(R) arrives at the Parliament Building alongside Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Major General Dr Sibusiso Moyo-Picture by Wilson Kakurira

“Consequently, the Public Finance Technical Response Unit was established under the Accountant General for the purposes of studying, following up and further looking into matters that are raised through the Auditor General’s reports for the purposes of recovering misappropriated wealth and institution of criminal proceedings, where necessary,” he said.

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  • New Start

    We want to see all this implemented in the coming months,and with that you have my vote cde E.D

  • Megabrains

    Mr Chinamasa has presented one of most practical but budgets.

    It’s a reformist budget that will lift us from the economic mess the previous administration brought upon us. Let’s us support him and we will make Zimbabwe work again.

    Well done Minister, now it’s implementation, implementation and implementation.

    • general

      cde chinamasa apa magona Zimra Ema VID POLICE and CIO have been a thorn in the flesh,these depts need overhaul we need new blood the CEO of these have failed ,Dont forget Agents Touts have been playing part in this game ,a lot of agents from clearing companies have been part of the syndicates to kill the economy especially at Forbes Beit AND CHIRUNDU .We need to walk the talk now especially this Xmas

  • Jemedzo

    In this age of technology our government still lags behind. Effective control now comes through the use of technology and systems that are efficient and effective.
    For example there should have been a central government system that has all the details of its citizens both inside and outside Zimbabwe, The Central Vehicle Registry should have been computerized ages ago and every vehicle on the road registered. Unregistered vehicles can easily be detected using detectors connected to the main data base. I could go on and on with suggestions that will make the government perform effectively.

    • Madara

      costs money. they dont have it. only for cars etc.
      and also expertise. these old guys have none.

  • eliah

    Let everything begin in earnest you need to be around after 2018 elections and this will depend heavily on what happens in the next few months for now we will pardon you of all the blunders and focus ahead.

  • koBulawayo

    if you keep this up i will vote zanu pf next year

  • Charles Nevanji

    Zvikadai tanaka senyika

  • Exchange

    The scourge of corruption has been left unchecked for a very long time..its high time the cleansing process start now.The minister has struck the right codes…implementation is critical at this moment

  • Farai Nadzo

    I think it is time for the Govt to put screws on corruption. It has become like cancer in our system. In order to be taken seriously and win the people`s hearts, the President should arrest all the culprits that were sabotaging our economy, if he does not take such action I am afraid we will not go anywhere as a country. We plead with you Mr President to do the right thing, please walk the talk on Corruption.

  • Nomara Edza

    In order to win the People`s hearts, President Mnangagwa needs to take action on all individuals that transgressed during the previous administration`s time. The Govt should enact a Bribery and Corruption framework. Mr President we plead with you to walk the talk on corruption and arrest all those that were sabotaging our beautiful country. Otherwise this administration will be seen as the same to the previous administration the never took any action on the culprits.

  • yowe

    It will take serious change management to unfreeze the culture at Zimra ,VID, EMA, ZRP etc…I find it impossible for this corruption culture to end of the heads of those government agencies are not replaced. I hope this was not just another speech and action is taken

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Yaa, our government needs to walk the talk. But half the battle is to begin it. In the case of economic criminals, there should be no sacred oxen.

      • yowe

        If they go that route Obert Mpofu and Supa Mandiwanzira will be executed by firing squad…varume avo imbavha YOWE!!!!

        • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

          Kwahi Jesus akati uyo anoziva kuti zvokwadi haasi mbavha ngaatore bwe atape uyu arikunzi mbavha. May be we need an audit trail of wealth accumulation by all political leaders who built themselves mansions, especially among some of those surviving the current political Tsunami in our party ,ZANU PF ! Isu ana Mzvinavhu just live modestly , on 5 hectares A1 farming land and a 3 bedroom house in Mabvuku-dale!

          • yowe

            Saka uri kuti Obert Mpofu naSupa are clean?? Hahaha YOWE!!!! Ndopatinopesana ipapo pakutaura zvinhu zvisina maturo

          • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

            Plse dont put words in my clean mouth. Kkkkkk. I have no confidential information about our leaders. I only read in the media, insinuations on which I cant crucify anyone. The government system will clean itself as per new dispensation. The President will command the system . I have no capacity or locus standi on such issues. Yowe, yowe , yowe. Ndisiye zvangu ini.

          • yowe

            Haiwawo Prof kkkkk …We both know Obert Mpofu and Supa imbavha dzinofanirwa kufira mujeri…Allied Bank, ZISCO, Rainbow Airline, Telecel etc etc should i go deeper

          • Loud Speaker

            …And how much did you pay for A1 farm and 3 bedroom house again?…Hopefully it was for the going market rate!

          • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

            I am liberation hero who “died for dis kantry“,to use Cde Chinos` linguistic style . Why should I pay for the land which belonged to my forefathers/mothers before any Boer arrival in “Zimbawe“? I bought the house in Mabvuku-dale.

          • succuba

            So is this land yours (fakey)? Have you title deeds for these 5 hectares of land?

            Is there a house and buildings on this land?

  • Chikuyochisamarengu

    Right direction Minister, if only it can be put into practice!

  • Loud Speaker

    Its only been 2 weeks FFS. !

  • http://masimbamusodza.co.uk Masimba Musodza

    We still need to deregulate the economy, and trim a lot of fat in the public service.