By Leopold Munhende, Chief Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has admitted that some of its officers and those in the police force are corrupt and told parliament blame lies squarely on failure to pay them competitive wages that is motivating their behaviour.
Speaking at a workshop on progress made in the fight against corruption, facilitated by parliament and funded by the African Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption (APNAC) in Bulawayo, ZACC commissioner Kuviwa Murapa said it was “a given” that corrupt officials were within its rank.
Police officers earn about ZW$18 000, less than US$100 on the illegal market and just over the same amount on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) unpopular interbank rate.
“One area the fight against corruption suffers is poor remuneration of those who are involved in the fight,” said Murapa.
“Officers being sent out to fight corruption are being paid a basic of ZW$18 000 and you are sending this person to interview someone on a case involving millions.
“We still have people within the ZRP earning ZW$18 000 and they are expected to investigate someone with lots of money.
“What is your guarantee that this case can be concluded? It is incumbent upon us that we need an improvement in the remuneration of those we send to fight corruption.
“It is a given that we have corruption within our organisation, there is corruption in ZRP, in ZACC, everywhere. We are however saying let us not aid it.
“Let us not tempt those who are willing to do the job by not paying them well.”
- Corruption at ZACC: a case of who will guard the guardians
- ZINARA, VID, ZRP Most Corrupt State Depts: ZACC
US$5,5 million was not accounted for by ZACC during auditor general (AG) Mildred Chiri’s investigations while another, unexplained US$1,1 million went missing after the anti-graft body improperly disposed of houses worth US$2,4 million.
Corruption within the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has always been an open secret, with traffic officers widely known for demanding bribes at roadblocks, while some have been accused of going as far as dealing with armed criminals.
WATCH: ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo says the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID), ZINARA and ZRP are among the most corrupt entities pic.twitter.com/z3GafBamly
— Sunday Mail Zimbabwe (@SundayMailZim) December 9, 2021
National Prosecution Authority (NPA) acting prosecutor general Rosa Takuva noted a similar situation at the courts where she said staff was operating under constant temptation to engage in corrupt activities because of their poor salaries and working conditions.
“Conditions of service for court staff need to be improved, they have to be cushioned against temptations of corruption,” said Takuva.
“Imagine a prosecutor who stays in Matshobana (high density suburb in Bulawayo), when their salary runs out within the first week of work, they will start walking to work and, in the process, they are going to be given a lift by an accused person.
“Some are actually struggling to pay their rentals.”
ZACC chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo last year said some police officers were pocketing as much as US$200 per day through illicit dealings, more than double their salaries.