Vice-President Kembo Mohadi has said the fight against corruption is not a once-off campaign but a determined and sustained strategy to effect a culture change through a deliberate paradigm shift towards productivity and sustainable social and economic development.
Speaking during the recently held 2019 Excellence in Corporate Governance Awards, Mohadi said it is vital to fight corruption, indiscipline and lack of productivity at the workplace. He also said it was imperative that as a nation there be a collective redoubling of efforts to respond to the demands of the people through an improved work ethic.
“Good governance is vital for sustainable economic development. It holds the key to building stable and secure societies towards inclusive growth and shared prosperity. The government is committed to ensuring structures are in place to enhance transparency and accountability,” he said.
In a speech read on her behalf by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission Deputy Commissioner Kuziva P. Murapa, Zacc chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said of late cases of criminal abuse of office are on the rise and this constitutes most of the cases that they were receiving as the main anti – graft body in the country.
She explained to the delegates that poor corporate governance within institutions creates a safe haven for criminal abuse of office and other forms of corruption. Its toll can be devastating to a national economy.
“Experiences drawn from the past and from the development of other countries demonstrate that investors are willing to pay extra for well-governed companies. The nexus between criminal abuse of office and human rights should never be ignored,” she said.
Matanda-Moyo added that criminal abuse of office by public officers denies citizens the right to basics inherent to humanity such as healthcare, shelter, fair hearing in courts, just to mention a few.
“Criminal abuse of office is a corrosive drain on public trust and on the legitimacy of public and private sector institutions. It affects all types and sizes of business firms — from global multinationals to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and co-operatives. It has the power to destroy firms and, with them, the livelihoods of stakeholders who depend on a company’s success.”
She expounded on good corporate governance which she said was not only a tool that raises efficiency but improves access to capital, and ensures sustainability. It is also emerging as an effective anti-corruption tool. One key way of addressing the criminal abuse of office menace through internal measures is through the establishment of strong corporate governance systems within organisations.
Matanda-Moyo said at the decision-making level, good corporate governance injects transparency and accountability, so that it is very clear on how decisions are made and why.
This, she said, prevents the of criminal abuse of office within organisations.“If the fight against corruption starts at the top with clear commitment from leadership to the culture of integrity and the fundamentals of good corporate governance that is fairness, accountability, transparency, and responsibility, we surely can defeat the rise of criminal abuse of office cases as recently experienced. In such a situation, the goals of organisations are also more likely to be achieved and in the process lure in more investment,” Matanda-Moyo said.
The concept of good corporate governance and preventing criminal abuse of office is in line with regional and international legal frameworks on corruption, key among them the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol Against Corruption.
“Zimbabwe is a signatory to all these conventions.In this regard let me emphasise that there is dire need that we value the implementation of good corporate governance systems within our organisations.”