No to greedy conduct, public office bearers told
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has called for accountability of public funds and warned against corrupt and greedy conduct from public office bearers, saying his Government’s anti-corruption crusade was now in overdrive.
He said all public officials should be mindful of the immense responsibility they have towards national development in general and the improvement of the quality life of the people, in particular.
The President said this during the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and National Prosecuting Authority Anti-Corruption Awareness Campaign launch in Harare yesterday.
“They (public officials) must endeavour to always separate public and personal interest and to put the concerns of our people above their personal benefits. Let us remain clean, prudent, honest and upright in our conduct and the exercise of power at our various levels.
“Public funds must be used for public purposes, and never for personal gain. Equally, State authority must be exercised for the people, never as a tool for personal benefit or the benefit of cliques and cartels.
“As public officials we should impose stricter discipline on ourselves, individually and collectively, for the good of our fellow citizens. Let us pledge to increase our honesty, efficiency and fairness in the manner we conduct Government business.”
President Mnangagwa said the private sector, SMEs, along with other developmental partners, were vital in their quest to attain Vision 2030 as well as to modernise and industrialise the economy.
He said it was imperative that these partners also conducted their affairs with integrity for the collective good of the people.
“The importance of making the most out of our budgets and minimising expenditure is paramount in our quest to build a better and more prosperous Zimbabwe. Accordingly, I do not expect any cases of procurement corruption, as we go forward.
“Those tasked with the procurement function must abandon and forsake the old ways of doing things by adopting the highest ethical and professional standards in undertaking public procurement. Our nation can no longer be held back and our development stunted due to corruption,” he said.
He urged local government administrators to combat corruption through the enhancement of accountability and transparency in the governance of both rural and urban councils.
President Mnangagwa said this will, in turn, result in prosperity and inclusive development, greater social cohesion, improved service delivery, elimination of poverty, increased revenue collection and higher ethical standards.
“I specifically challenge the media to promote a culture of integrity and assist in the dissemination of knowledge on corruption and anti-corruption measures; beyond almost exclusively focusing merely on high profile corruption cases.
“You in the media fraternity should help to change the general attitude on corruption at every level, by fostering a culture of integrity, through trustworthy, fair, frank and honest communication to citizens,” he said.
He said in the fight against corruption, everyone had a role to play and only then they will be able to achieve sustainable economic development that leaves no one behind.
He challenged Zacc and the NPA to reinforce the existing national anti-corruption mechanisms.
“Proposals on further legal and policy reforms to buttress and invigorate the fight against corruption must also be deduced from this ensuing public awareness drive.
“As a listening President, I have directed the granting of arresting powers to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to demonstrate our seriousness. The newly acquired teeth in dealing with cases involving high level corruption must be used without fear, prejudice or favour and ensure that all perpetrators are brought to book,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said Government will continue to support Zacc and other related institutions with the necessary, legal and policy reforms as well as material resources so that they adequately execute their constitutional mandate.
He said the provision of comprehensive mechanisms to protect whistle-blower and witnesses will also be enhanced.
“In this regard, the amending of the Whistleblower Protection Act to protect our citizens and motivate them to bring forward any suspected cases of corruption, will be speeded up. The opening of the Special Anti-Corruption Courts in –provinces is yet another demonstration of my Government’s resolve to effectively deal with corruption,” President Mnangagwa said.
He said the awareness campaign launch was message to the corrupt to stop their filthy and greedy conduct.
President Mnangagwa challenged Zacc to set up their offices closer to the people to improve accessibility and the facilitation of easier reporting.
Zacc chairperson Justice Joice Matanda-Moyo said the campaign which was targeting the whole population, was being funded by the European Union would start now up until November 2020.
She assured the president that Zacc and NPA will produce results in fighting corruption.
Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi said they had engaged Zacc with a view to engage members of the public in the fight against corruption.
He said public institutions alone could not win the fight against corruption.
The event was attended by ministers, service chiefs, members of the diplomatic corps and other senior government officials.