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Zim drags feet on protocol

Eric Chiriga

ZIMBABWE has not yet ratified the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Protocol Against Corruption despite official posturing against corruption.

Zimbabwe, which participated in the drafting of the protocol, has since August 2002 when the process of ratification began failed to endorse the protocol that is aimed at stamping out corruption in the region.

In a document on the ratification process, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs permanent secretary David Mangota said Zimbabwe was moving towards approving the agreement.

“The government is at an advanced stage towards ratifying the protocol and it should take place this year,” Mangota said.

Efforts to get comment from Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa were fruitless.

For the protocol to be implemented, at least nine countries should ratify it. According to information obtained from details of the Annual Consultative Meeting of the Southern African Forum Against Corruption (Safac) held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on August 6/7, seven countries have so far ratified the protocol.

These are Malawi, Mauritius, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia and Tanzania.

Lesotho has not ratified the protocol. When the Safac chairman visited Maseru last year, the Anti-Corruption Commission said the protocol had not been ratified because of minor technical problems.

Zimbabwe has continued to pay lip-service to tackling corruption in the country. This has given the impression that government, which news reports suggest is riddled with serious graft, tolerates the widespread vice.

NGOs such as Transparency International Zimbabwe headed by John Makumbe have urged government to take tough action against graft.

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