Victor Maphosa Herald correspondent
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has warned tax evaders that they face imminent arrest as it intensifies efforts to plug Government revenue leakages, standing at $2 billion per year.
Speaking at a function organised by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) to discuss gendered corruption recently, ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said Zimbabwe was losing about $2 billion due to revenue leakages.
To that end, she said ZACC would intensify efforts to stop the leakages.
“ZACC is on record that those who have an affinity for either evading or avoiding tax obligations will be fully brought to account for their actions. I think from the studies carried out last year, Zimbabwe is losing $1.8 billion every year due to leakages in various sectors.
“We will institute thorough investigations, recover assets, arrest and hand suspects over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for prosecution without fear or favour,” Justice Matanda Moyo said.
She said more property will be seized and forfeited to the State.
“The current commission has been in office for less than 12 months, but I can assure you that we tried our best to rejuvenate ZACC as an institution. Currently, we are running out of space to store recovered property.
“A number of bank accounts have been frozen but again, we are still working on the legal framework to ensure that we finalise the processes with the courts.”
She assured the nation that the “catch and release” days were now over and that the commission would not rest until there was behavioural change. Turning to the corruption perceptions Index results on gendered corruption, Justice Matanda Moyo said women should be considered for higher offices and be included in decision-making. Basing on earlier studies and reports, Justice Matanda Moyo said women have proved to be less corrupt.
“The gender corruption barometer is an important study. Without taking any bias, in Zimbabwe it appears as if more males are prone to corruption than females. Maybe it is time that we give women an opportunity to assume leadership positions in private and public institutions if we are to make significant progress in the anti-corruption drive.”
She said ZACC will continue to fight corruption until the global perception on Zimbabwe improves.
“We will not rest until Zimbabwe improves on its global perception index to the levels that make it easier to receive Foreign Direct Investment, which in effect, will breathe life on struggling industries.”