Fighting corruption requires collective cooperation by both individuals and relevant institutions like Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to achieve the goal of eradicating the cancer.
The sentiment was echoed throughout panel discussions held at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Global Ethics Day 2019 in Harare yesterday. The celebrations ran under the theme “Combating Corruption in Zimbabwe.”
Among the representatives who graced the event were official from ACCA, ZACC, the Public Accounts Portfolio Committee and Transparency International. Being sought were robust discussions on how best the problem of corruption can be dealt with more from a professional point of view.
Global Ethics Day is an annual, international day set to interrogate the role of ethics in the present world.
Organisations and institutions are encouraged to hold lectures, film screenings, debates and panel discussions on ethics with a view to protect the environment.
The position tallies with President Mnangagwa and his administration position as well as calls for concerted efforts to fight the cancer of corruption.
ACCA introduced an ethics and professional skills module in 2007, which students have to be well acquainted with ahead of attaining membership to the association. The module was updated in 2017. As described by the association’s marketing head Takesure Famba in his opening remarks, ethics forms the hard core of the ACCA qualification.
“As accountants we have the right to uphold values and pursue ethical conduct,” he said.
Speaking at the event, ZACC manager for public education and publicity Munyaradzi Magiga, implored everyone to cooperate to end corruption that is instrumental in slowing economic development.
He suggested that accountants and all intellectuals should uphold moral values and shun corrupt tendencies as they constitute part of the society’s opinion leaders and role models to identify with.
“If we had to join hands during the liberation struggle and managed to achieve the benefits we are enjoying today, why now when it comes to the fight against corruption we fold hands and point fingers to individuals and institutions (ZACC) to play the part on our behalf? We all have the responsibility,” he said.
Magiga further claimed ZACC has the necessary support from the Government in delivering its mandate and he applauded the new dispensation for further tooling the commission.
“With the new dispensation we were well equipped with arresting powers and the power to interrogate corrupt reports to finality. We are getting the necessary support from ministries and the parliament,” he added.
The call was made to proffer more proactive rather than mere reactive solutions to the corruption scourge.
Mr Magiga alluded to the importance of having personnel from various disciplines in order to conform to compliance issues and such that investigations will not be disturbed because members are not versed in particular disciplines.
Also given that corruption can be a mindset and a result of behavioural inclinations, he suggested the introduction in curricular of courses to deal with corruption.
Chairperson of the Public Accounts Portfolio Committee Tendai Biti also noted as key priority the fight against corruption which he said requires urgency. He pointed to the need to tackle corruption in its various forms of institutional or corporate, illicit financial flows, and under-invoicing (by accountants) to mention a few.
“Our work at the Public Accounts Portfolio Committee taught us that we have to put corruption issues at the top of our minds.”
Also as part of submissions during the panel discussions, Transparency International identified the need for judicial integrity and the digitalisation of court records, which practices the Government is currently pursuing to reform the judiciary.
The event has come at a time the new dispensation has taken the stance of not tolerating corruption.