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‘Shameless’ parastatals lack political will to fight corruption: ZACC

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has claimed that government parastatals have done nothing to stop the “shameless abuse of public funds” as reported in the Auditor General (AG)’s previous reports.

Speaking at ZACC’s inaugural accounting and financial reporting last week, the anti-graft body’s deputy chairperson, Kuziva Murapa accused government departments of not implementing the AG’s recommendations and creating a launch pad for corruption.

“Auditor General’s reports are replete with cases of flagrant abuse of public funds under the pretext of donations where public entities made numerous payments towards activities that were totally out of sync with the institutions’ line of operations,” Murapa said.

“As ZACC, we have received cases of such shameless abuse of public funds, some of which are before the courts. Little or no action had been taken by the concerned institutions to pre-empt repetition of such activities in line with the Auditor General’s recommendations.”

The previous AG reports revealed gross corruption in government parastatals including Zimbabwe National Roads Authority, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority and the Health Ministry among others.

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Murapa added: “In order to prevent the abuse of public resources, the Constitutions of Zimbabwe has several provisions that spell out prudent administration and management of public funds. Part 1 of Chapter 17 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides for comprehensive principles on public financial management which guide all aspects of public finance in Zimbabwe which Finance Directors and Managers of public entities are also obliged to adhere to. Section 298 (a) makes it clear that there must be transparency and accountability in financial matters.

“Section 298(d) provides that public funds must be expended transparently, prudently, economically and effectively.

“Additionally, Part 4 of the Constitution is critical to financial managers of public institutions as it prescribes safeguarding of public funds and property. Section 308 (2) provides that, and I quote;

“ It is the duty of every person who is responsible for the expenditure of public funds to safeguard the funds and ensure that they are spent only on legally authorised purposes and in legally authorised amounts.” Nehanda Radio