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Parastatals effect audit recommendations

Joint initiatives by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), Government departments, parastatals and other stakeholders are now bearing fruit, with the latest assessment by the anti-graft body showing strict adherence with the Auditor General’s recommendations raised in previous audit reports.

ZACC signed 19 memorandums of understanding with a number of local stakeholders, a development that helped whip public entities into line.

Over the years, the Auditor General’s annual audit reports were generally not taken seriously.

But this year, ZACC’s compliance unit engaged the internal audit sections of the public entities and tightly monitored them to ensure compliance with the audit reports.

Officially opening a two-day workshop on inter-agency coordination in Harare recently, ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said State entities were now generally compliant with audit reports recommendations.

“ZACC at the moment is making sure that the Auditor General’s recommendations are implemented and complied with throughout the organisations in Zimbabwe.

“Our compliance department has joined hands with internal audit teams of various institutions to ensure that those recommendations are implemented.

“As I speak, I am happy to say that most of the Government departments and most of the parastatals are now implementing the Auditor General’s recommendations.

“ZACC signed a total of 19 agreements to curb corruption and enhance good corporate governance. ZACC signed a memorandum of understanding with the Auditor General, who is here present, and we have begun implementing that,” said Justice Matanda-Moyo.

Justice Matanda-Moyo said corruption could not be fought in isolation. She said combating corruption and the laundering of proceeds of corruption could not be undertaken by a single agency, acting in isolation, no matter how competent the agency and its staff may be.

ZACC has signed an agreement with the Department of Immigration to ensure that criminals with corruption records were kept out of the country and barred at all points of entry.

The anti-corruption body recently signed memorandums of understanding with other anti-graft bodies in Southern Africa, with the latest one being with Zambia.

Justice Matanda-Moyo said there was need for establishment of specialised anti-graft agencies teams for the prosecution and investigation of cases.

“To effectively combat corruption, governments have established specialised anti-corruption agencies. However, these agencies will need to work together with other institutions, whether for referral of potential criminal activity, occurring suspicious activities or to collect evidence and build a strong corruption case.

“Unity is strength. When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved,” she said.

ZACC has directed at least 26 parastatals and State-owned companies to set up integrity committees by end of next month, a development meant to help prevent corruption and promote good corporate governance at institutional level.

The swearing in ceremony for the committee members is expected early in December.

Integrity committees help to prevent corruption and promote integrity within the institutions’ spheres of control.

Parastatals, State enterprises, local authorities, Government departments and ministries will participate in the pilot project.

The selected 26 companies are: Zimbabwe Newspapers, ZimParks, Central Mechanical and Equipment Department, Printflow, Rural Electrification Agency, TelOne, Allied Timbers, National Oil Infrastructure Company, Tobacco Industry Marketing Board, ZESA Holdings, Zimbabwe National Water Authority, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Zimbabwe National Road Administration, Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council, Health Services Board, Zupco, Environmental Management Agency, Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education, Agricultural Rural Development Authority, NatPharm, Agricultural Marketing Authority, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Grain Marketing Board and the National Social Security Authority.

The establishment of integrity committees has been identified as one of the most effective ways to facilitate stakeholder participation in the anti-corruption drive.

Zambia, Tanzania and Namibia have successfully introduced integrity committees which are producing positive results in the anti-graft fight.

More entities will be roped in as time progresses.

The Treasury is offering financial support for the programme. According to ZACC, the number of public institutions participating in the project is expected to rise to 250 by the end of next year.

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