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CEO Africa Roundtable warns govt against corruption



Companies chief executive officers have warned the government to take decisive action against widespread corruption and bad governance, particularly the recent upsurge in bureaucratic corruption.

They claimed that failing to combat the scrouge will undermine confidence in the ailing economy.

It comes at a time Zimbabwe is losing close to US$2bn annually to corruption and illegal transactions, according to official data obtained from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).

Oswell Binha, chairman of the CEO Africa Roundtable, told delegates at a breakfast meeting this week organised by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce that corruption was seriously harming the economy and should be stopped in its tracks.

“Zimbabwe has to deal decisively with the multidimensional menace of governance and corruption, particularly the new wave of bureaucratic corruption. We believe the government must lead the way in exorcising the country of this demon.

“We believe government leadership in this area will send a clear message that the country has taken a new path as we prepare for National Development Strategy 2 or whatever it shall be called.

“The intended consequences being improved government resources management, regulatory efficiencies, and, indeed, salvaging the residual confidence necessary for buy-in and collective ownership of government policies,” Binha said.

He added: “We believe there are causality relationships between economic confidence and fundamental macroeconomic indicators, a necessary tool and ingredient in macroeconomic performance. It is ideal for enhancing the business environment necessary for bridging the infrastructure gap and re-thinking the country’s social contract.”

A report from Transparency International Zimbabwe estimates that 82% of public spending is tainted by financial irregularities.

Stembiso Nyoni, the recently appointed Industry and Commerce Minister, acknowledged the need to reduce bureaucracy and the pervasive corruption within the government.

“I want to agree. Let us be on board together to create corruption free zones from wherever we stand . If it is a government or private sector, let us try and attack it, “ Nyoni said.

Loice Matanda-Moyo, the chairwoman of the ZACC, also criticised the government for doing little to combat corruption.

However, the ZACC has also come under fire for never taking cases of corruption seriously and for treating dishonest officials in a “catch and release” manner.

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