Govt fails to raise $300b for corruption survey

Loughty Dube


GOVERNMENT has failed to raise more than $300 billion required to carry out a crucial baseline survey to come up with measurement criteria for corruption in Zimbabwe, which was expected to have kicked off this month.

The survey that was supposed to be carried

out over a period of eight months, is to be conducted by four independent consultants and is expected to investigate the nature and incidence of corruption in Zimbabwe.

The survey was also expected to investigate levels of corruption based on national perception and factual evidence rather than rely on international indices by organisations such as Transparency International.

The findings were to be added to the proposed National Anti-Corruption Prevention and Combating Policy that the government intends to launch soon.

Government has intensified a campaign to persuade the business community and private entities to fund the exercise.

Members of the business community who received the letters requesting assistance this week expressed outrage at the appeal, saying government was spending on luxuries yet it expected the business community to fund essential national projects.

“Just last week they spent billions buying each other limousines and they want us to fund the anti-corruption survey.

Where do they expect us to get the funds?” fumed one business executive, who preferred not to be named for fear of victimisation.

“Government policies have ruined industry and they still want to extract money from us.”
 
The government through the Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies ministry is writing to several companies, including white-owned firms, seeking funds to carry out the survey.

The ministry, apart from seeking cash donations, is also soliciting donations in kind.

Part of the items the ministry listed as essentials to be donated for the exercise are computers, cellular phones and motor vehicles.

A letter written by the principal director, Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies Department in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Blessing Maunganidze, inviting well wishers and companies to pledge donations towards the survey, has been sent to company executives nationwide.

“The survey is scheduled to kick start in May and will span over eight months.

It is projected to cost plus or minus $300 billion,” the letter says.

“We shall be in need of 35 vehicles so those who can donate vehicles are very much welcome.

The use of IT equipment during the survey cannot be overemphasised, hence donations of computers, cellular phones and other equipment will be greatly appreciated.”

Since the Ministry of State for State Enterprises, Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies was set up last year but there has not been any major exposé of corrupt activities in the country.

Zimbabwe is currently ranked 117 in the world under the Transparency International corruption perception index, placing it in the same league as Ukraine, Belarus, Eritrea and Kazakhstan.

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