The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Africa Moyo Se­nior Busi­ness Re­porter

GOV­ERN­MENT is deep­en­ing its bat­tle against all forms of cor­rup­tion as it seeks to re­move grid­locks to the at­tain­ment of an up­per mid­dle in­come econ­omy sta­tus by 2030.

Sec­re­tary re­spon­si­ble for State En­ter­prises Re­form, Cor­po­rate Gov­er­nance and Pro­cure­ment in the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and Cab­i­net, Mr Wil­lard Ma­nungo, told The Her­ald Busi­ness yes­ter­day that cor­rup­tion will not be al­lowed to scut­tle the new ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ef­forts turn­around the econ­omy.

“The Pres­i­dent’s thrust is re­ally on move­ment to­wards an up­per mid­dle in­come econ­omy by 2030, and for us to be able to do that, all sec­tors, all en­ti­ties will need to play their part in terms of en­sur­ing that we max­imise on the State re­sources that we have,” said Mr Ma­nungo.

“So the is­sues of cor­po­rate gov­er­nance take cen­tre stage in terms of util­is­ing State re­sources. Things like cor­rup­tion and those other things that rep­re­sent leak­ages that un­der­mine HE (His Ex­cel­lency)’s quest for an up­per mid­dle in­come econ­omy by 2030, will not be tol­er­ated.

“The thrust is now on pro­duc­tion, ef­fi­ciency and max­imis­ing on the limited State re­sources. So there is zero tol­er­ance to­wards leak­ages re­flected in cor­rup­tion and the ab­sence of cor­po­rate gov­er­nance breeds such leak­ages so the stance is re­ally to plug all po­ten­tial leak­ages and the in­sis­tence on en­sur­ing that cor­po­rate gov­er­nance cen­tre stage.”

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa an­nounced in his in­au­gu­ra­tion speech on Novem­ber 24 that cor­rup­tion would be fiercely fought un­der his ad­min­is­tra­tion, if the coun­try was to pros­per.

Al­ready, high pro­file fig­ures such as former min­is­ters En­gi­neer Wal­ter Mzembi (Tourism), Dr Ig­na­tious Chombo (Fi­nance), Wal­ter Chid­hakwa (Mines), Dr Sa­muel Un­denge (En­ergy) and Saviour Ka­sukuwere (Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment), have been dragged be­fore the courts over var­i­ous al­le­ga­tions.

Fur­ther, ZESA Hold­ings head hon­chos were nabbed by po­lice on abuse of of­fice charges in­volv­ing a stag­ger­ing $11,8 mil­lion power deal.

CEO en­gi­neer Josh Chi­famba, fi­nance di­rec­tor Ms Thokozani Dh­li­wayo and Zim­babwe Elec­tric­ity Trans­mis­sion and Dis­tri­bu­tion Com- pany (ZETDC) manag­ing di­rec­tor En­gi­neer Ju­lian Chinem­biri, are cur­rently on bail over the is­sue.

Al­lied Tim­bers Zim­babwe CEO Mr Daniel Sithole also ap­peared in court on Wed­nes­day af­ter his ar­rest for al­legedly de­feat­ing pro­cure­ment pro­ce­dures at the paras­tatal.

Crit­i­cally, former Zim­babwe Na­tional Roads Ad­min­is­tra­tion (Zi­nara) act­ing CEO Mr Moses Juma was jailed for an ef­fec­tive two years on Mon­day this week, again for abus­ing of­fice.

In­ter­est­ingly, the courts ap­pear to be heed­ing the call by the ex­ec­u­tive for ruth­less­ness when deal­ing with graft cases.

In the case that led to the jail­ing of Mr Juma, who was first ar­rested in 2016 be­fore his re­lease from Avon­dale Po­lice Sta­tion af­ter the in­ter­ven­tion of former Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko, the prose­cu­tion team im­plored the court for a de­ter­rent pun­ish­ment.

Said Chris Mu­tan­gadura who rep­re­sented the prose­cu­tion: “Your Wor­ship, the new dis­pen­sa­tion is now view­ing cor­rup­tion as a can­cer that needs to be ex­or­cised from the so­ci­ety and that the penalty must de­ter would be of­fend­ers.

“A clear mes­sage has to be sent out that crime does not pay.”

Mag­is­trate Mr Hoseah Mu­jaya con­ceded that cor­rup­tion needed to be clamped down upon.

The Hwange Col­liery Com­pany Limited (HCCL) board has sus­pended two of its top of­fi­cials, act­ing manag­ing di­rec­tor En­gi­neer Shep­herd Manamike and the ex­ec­u­tive, fi­nance and ad­min­is­tra­tion boss, Mr Tawanda Mara­pira over “un­eth­i­cal busi­ness prac­tices”.

This ranks as prob­a­bly a first for a paras­tatal board to flag such malfea­sance given that in the past, some board mem­bers would gang up with ex­ec­u­tives to plun­der com­pa­nies while they un­der­per­formed.

In 2016, 38 out of 93 au­dited State-owned firms re­ported a com­bined $270 mil­lion loss due to weak cor­po­rate gov­er­nance prac­tices and in­ef­fec­tive con­trol mech­a­nisms.

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