Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged to tackle corruption, saying the fight ‘has already begun’ and to ensure that next year’s elections will be credible.
Zimbabwe has failed to shed a deep-seated culture of graft under former president Robert Mugabe, and ranked 154 out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) with a score of 22 points, from 21 over the previous three years.
The anti-graft watchdog also said Zimbabwe was losing at least $1 billion annually to corruption, with police and local government officials among the worst offenders.
“Corruption remains the major source of some of the problems we face as a country, and its retarding impact on national development cannot be overemphasized. The goal of my government is to build a new Zimbabwe based on the crown values of honesty, transparency, accountability and hard work,” Mnangagwa said in his maiden state of the nation address today.
“Individual cases of corruption …must be investigated and punished in accordance with the dictates of our laws. It has already begun. My government will have a zero tolerance towards corruption. Economic developments require a clean government.”
Several cases of graft involving high ranking government officials such as former finance minister Ignatius Chombo and former permanent secretary in the ministry of mines, Francis Gudyanga have been taken to the courts in recent weeks.
Mnangagwa pledged to entrench a democratic society driven by respect for the constitution and rule of law.
“To this end Government will do all in its power to ensure that the 2018 harmonised general elections are credible, free and fair.”
He however did not mention weather his government would implement electoral reforms which the opposition has demanded to guarantee fair elections.
Mnangagwa also wants to open Zimbabwe up to foreign investment by ‘building a free and transparent economy.’
“This task, however of projecting our country as a welcoming investment destination remains a collective responsibility for all Zimbabweans across the political divide. This therefore, demands that we subordinate our partisan and political interests to the higher objective of building a strong economy for the benefit of both current and future generations.”- The Source