GOVERNMENT must urgently investigate corruption cases and take action against those found guilty in order to boost confidence among international investors, economists say.
Zimbabwe has traditionally performed dismally in terms of ease of doing business rankings largely owing to poor governance, policy uncertainty and a high rate of corruption.
Top local economist John Robertson told businessdigest corruption cases such as the CMED scam damage the country’s reputation and reduce its chances of securing credit.
Last week the Zimbabwe Independent reported that the CMED’s battle to recover US$3,8 million in a botched fuel deal in which private supplier First Oil failed to deliver paid for fuel had sucked in President Robert Mugabe’s office as it has emerged the parastatal, together with government’s fuel distributor PetroTrade, approached officials in the Office of the President and Cabinet to resolve the matter.
“There is a lot of indiscipline in government and this is bad when we are looking for lines of credit,” Robertson said.
He said people found guilty of corruption should be prosecuted.
Economist Takunda Mugaga said Mugabe should demonstrate seriousness in fighting corruption in high offices.
“Fighting graft at corporate level is proving difficult because parastatal bosses like those at the CMED and GMB, for instance, are just shadows of the bigger ghosts that are untouchable,” said Mugaga.
“We have heard the First lady (Grace Mugabe) accusing top officials of corruption and this damages the country’s reputation so there must be investigations and perpetrators must be dealt with.”
Mugaga said Mugabe is in a difficult position where fighting corruption cases involving his lieutenants will likely lead to counter-accusations against him.
“It will be like throwing stones when you live in a glass house, he cannot afford to fight corruption because his house is on fire because of this animal called corruption.”