The government needs to deal with corruption ruthlessly and arrest perpetrators in order to restore confidence in the country, Parliament heard.
Addressing the August House Tuesday, Zanu PF MP for Wedza North, David Musabayana said the government ought to set up effective policies to curb corruption, which would accelerate the re-engagement process and promote investment.
“We propose that the government deals with corruption ruthlessly and perpetrators of illicit financial flows because corrupt activities have created uncertainty in the economy and discouraged foreign direct investment. For us to improve our rankings on the global market, we need to deal with corruption ruthlessly,” he said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has repeatedly said he would deal with corruption but citizens feel lack of powerful arrests speaks to how false those promises have been.
However, this July, government empowered the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), which is the country’s focal point in the anti-corruption fight with arresting powers.
Previously, ZACC could only recommend to the Zimbabwe Republic Police to arrest an individual suspected of corruption.
Through Statutory Instrument 143 of 2019, ZACC officers “can now arrest any person on reasonable suspicion of any other crime”, other than corruption, “having been committed.”
Musabayana said failure to deal with corruption has hindered economic growth and affected the country’s re-engagement process.
“When we talk of re-engagement, we are talking of re-engagement at all levels of the state. All government departments must be engaged in this process so that we are at par with the rest of the world. Fighting corruption would instill confidence in both local and foreign investors which the country is in great need of at the moment,” he said.
“Remember, corruption is white collar crime and is very complex as well as intricate. It is important that those who deal with corruption cases are trained and coached on how to profile various forms of corruption and how to execute the whole process.”
The MP also noted that corruption had removed confidence in local systems such as the use of domestic currency.
He said the entry of the foreign currency into the Zimbabwean economy was necessitated by lack of confidence by business people in the local currency.
“We do realise the reason why the economy was dollarised was because of speculative behaviour and the attempt by citizens to try and hedge their interest by keeping all their savings in foreign currency,” said Musabayana.
He suggested that to make the local currency strong, the government needed to back it up with our local minerals.
“We are proposing that as an economy, we should start creating our own reserves where we can use our diamonds, platinum and gold to support the Zimbabwean dollar so that it may be regarded as a strong currency,” the MP said.
Musabayana noted that the re-introduction of the Zimbabwean dollar had to be backed by policy measures that stabilised the economy.