A NEW legislation that allows lifestyle audits of all public officials to ascertain if their living standards are commensurate with their incomes is set to be introduced, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has said.
Addressing delegates at the inaugural African Anti-Corruption Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Minister Ziyambi said legal instrument is being fine-tuned to empower law enforcement agents to seize all properties obtained through unexplained wealth.
He said Government was coming up with laws for protecting whistleblowers and witnesses protection.
“Zimbabwe is implementing policies and legislation that regularises lifestyle audits of all public officers to ensure that their lifestyles are ‘reasonable’ with their levels of income,” said Minister Ziyambi.
“The Finance Act of 2018 has established the Public Finance Technical Response Unit under the Accountant General for the purposes of recovering misappropriated wealth and institution of criminal proceedings in cases where red flags where raised by the Accountant General.
“The Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and Exchange Control Act) Regulations, allows the law enforcement agencies to obtain court orders to seize unexplained properties.
“A new Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Bill is addressing all recommendations made by the Financial Task Force (FATF) and will be promulgated into law by the end of 2019.”
Minister Ziyambi said Zimbabwe had made great strides in addressing corruption through enacting stringent laws and capacitating all State agencies charged with fighting corruption.
Zimbabwe, said Minister Ziyambi, had ratified a plethora of international conventions through several legal frameworks which include the Constitution, the Anti- Corruption Commission Act, the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Public Entities Corporate Governance Act and Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act. He said President Emmerson Mnangagwa had declared his Government’s zero tolerance to corruption and perpetrators would be dealt with in terms of the laws.
“Our President, Cde E.D Mnangagwa has pronounced a “Zero Tolerance” to all forms of corruption and the need to deal with corruption decisively,” said Minister Ziyambi.
“As a result, the Government has developed policies, plans of actions and programmes to boost the fight against corruption in Zimbabwe and these are ready for sharing with other African States as part of external cooperation.
“Government has continued to support the work of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to ensure that they discharge their mandate professionally and effectively without any fear or favour.
“The thrust of Government’s strategy is to have coordinated and amplified efforts from all stakeholders which include the law enforcement agencies, the Judiciary, the National Prosecuting Authority, all Government Institutions and Departments, private sector, civil society, media and members of the public.”
He said the establishment of specialised anti-corruption courts was testament to authorities’ seriousness about dealing with corruption.