THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) faces eviction from its offices after failing to pay rentals at a time calls for government to effectively deal with corruption have reached fever pitch, the Zimbabwe Independent has established.
Zacc has been suffering from an acute lack of funding that has crippled its operations, bringing into question government’s sincerity in tackling corruption which has become institutionalised.
The commission has been given a 30-day ultimatum to pay up overdue rentals, failure of which will result in forced eviction from its offices at Livingstone House along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare.
Zacc has not received funding since August 2013.
“The commission is about to be evicted from its Livingstone House offices at 48 Samora Machel as the landlord is demanding the money we owe them in rentals,” a source within the commission told the Independent this week.
Other creditors have resorted to legal action against Zacc as they seek to recover what they are owed by the commission.
“The commission has received letters of final demand from service providers we owe money,” added the source.
So serious is the situation that Zacc operations have virtually ground to a halt, with vehicles grounded as the commission cannot even afford fuel.
The commission no longer has landlines as they were cut due to non-payment of bills, meaning whistleblowers cannot easily get hold of the commission.
Until recently, there was a shortage of water at the commission’s offices as there was no borehole pump, insiders revealed. The situation was so bad that staff at the commission was working only half the day.
Analysts and sceptics contend Zacc’s plight clearly show government is only paying lip service to the fight against corruption which some even within Zanu PF have said is causing more harm than sanctions imposed on the country.
Zimbabwe was ranked 157 out of 177 in the 2013 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, which ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be.
The country has a long history of high-profile corruption in the post-colonial era with prominent examples including the Willowgate scandal, the VVIP Housing Scheme scandal, the War Victims Compensation Fund scandal and recently the so-called salarygate scam, but President Robert Mugabe is yet to seriously deal with public officials for corruption in 33 years of his rule.