THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) is poorly funded to independently exercise its duties, leaving it exposed to manipulation and Parliament should make sure it has been allocated a sound budget, the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda (pictured) has said.
BY RICHARD MUPONDE/CHELSEA MUSAFARE
He said this in a presentation made on his behalf by Parliament counsel, Gladys Pise at a two-day Zacc and Transparency International Zimbabwe media roundtable on corruption in Harare this week.
He said the independence of the commission should be enhanced by the provision of a sound budget.
“Parliament must ensure that Zacc should be independent and not subject to the direction or control of anyone, must exercise their functions without fear or favour or prejudice but accountable to Parliament. Zacc’s independence needs to be strengthened in areas of its administration, staff recruitment, and control of its own budget,” Mudenda said.
He said it was the duty of Parliament to ensure that the commission was adequately funded to enable it to exercise its functions sufficiently.
“It has the power to authorise the expandable monies from the Consolidated Fund through the passage of the Appropriation Act in terms of section 305 of the Constitution. Parliament has power through its oversight role and its role in budget processes to ensure that the commission is well resourced,” he said.
Mudenda said the Ninth Parliament would ensure that the Executive brings Bills to domesticate treaties already signed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“The committee on Foreign Affairs is in the process of coming up with a tracking tool for all conventions and treaties that are yet to be tabled for approval. In the last session there was a motion on the National Assembly Order Paper relating to the need for government to fully implement the United Nations Covenant against corruption,“ Mudenda said.
The Speaker’s sentiments resonates well with pleas by Zacc chairperson, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo for government to fully resource the commission so that it adequately fulfils its mandate.
Speaking before Mudenda, Zacc spokesperson John Makamure said Zacc had already presented a $100 million vote to Treasury for the 2020 budget.
“Zacc needs $100 million for its 2020 activities which includes recruiting highly qualified staff and decentralisation of its work. The amount will enable the commission to recover about $300 million worth of assets in 2020,” Makamure said.
“We request to retain a percentage of what we will have recovered to allow us to run. Zacc has to spell out the role it should play in ensuring that we achieve vision 2030. Corruption is a threat to that goal because resources will not be harnessed towards national development.”