Corruption must be wiped out

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FOR the past few weeks, the media have behaved like they were from one stable in their exposure and condemnation of corruption.
A healthy competition has emerged as both electronic and print media of diverse orientation attempt to steal the lead in informing their readers of the corrupt dealings in organisations sustained by public funds.
Various devises to loot public funds from local authorities, parastatals and several other public institutions have been the order of the day.
This is through dubious tenders, inflating prices of goods and the awarding of obscene salaries, among other unorthodox means.
This is unacceptable.
President Robert Mugabe has on a number of occasions publicly expressed his abhorrence of corruption.
It was also gratifying to hear ZANU PF spokesman, Cde Rugare Gumbo respond to our last week’s challenge by publicly reiterating the determination of his party to rid the country of corruption.
He spoke of the party’s ‘zero tolerance’ to this scourge.
The nation’s unanimity in its desire to see corruption disappear cannot be questioned.
We have no doubt whatsoever that those who have been enriching themselves corruptly at the expense of the suffering masses will be brought to book.
That is what the President wants and that is what Zimbabweans want.
The nation is dismayed by this culture of corruption which appears to be tearing apart our economic fabric.
We remember at independence ZANU PF mooted the idea of a ‘Leadership Code’ which sought to encourage leaders to be transparent with their personal financial matters.
Although it was never formally adopted, it highlighted the need of honesty and the virtues of this code of behaviour for our leaders seemed to have been appreciated by all.
No wonder the Willogate Scandal of the early 80s, though not of the same scale as the present looting spree, shook the whole nation.
May be it is appropriate once more to remind all those in leadership positions of the contents of that document as spelt out elsewhere in this publication.
This might reactivate the conscience of some of these unrepentant looters.
Besides that, still more needs to be done.
The country is in urgent need for effective anti-corruption vehicles to stop this rot.
The establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission was a noble idea but regrettably, it has remained a lame duck ostensibly because of lack of funds.
A potent anti graft body could act as a deterrent to would-be looters.
The legislature should also be able to plug loopholes where looters take the legal option as an escape route.
This should be stopped even if it means passing laws which can be applied retrospectively to deal with current cases.
We say once an issue forces a public outcry like the abnormal salaries, perks and sitting allowances for board members have done, the honourable thing for those involved should do is to resign.
The very minimum is to at least apologise, that is if they have a conscience.
There should also be a total re-engineering of business models be they public or private, so that corporate governance anchors all operations.
This should cover ethics, how board members operate and how senior management conduct their business.
It is an accepted principle that salaries of organisations should not exceed 30 percent of revenue.
The salary schedule of senior managers at City of Harare appears to show that the top brass at this local authority is not aware of that.
Finally, we expect the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, to look closely at those who have looted public funds dating back from the time they siphoned the first cent.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on Commissioner-General, Augustine Chihuri and his police force.

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