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Anti-corruption commissioner nominations open

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PARLIAMENT’S Standing Rules and Orders Committee has invited nominations for new Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) commissioners days after Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi told Parliament that he had reversed the reappointment of commissioners.

NQOBILE BHEBHE
CHIEF REPORTER

Mohadi said he reversed the reappointments after realising that President Robert Mugabe had breached the Constitution when he extended their term of office in May.

The deadline for the submissions is August 30. According to a notice, the functions of the commissioners are, among other things, to “investigate and expose cases of corruption in the public and private sectors, combat corruption, theft, abuse of power and other improper conduct in the public and private sector”.

“The term of office of the eight (8) commissioners expired on the 31st of August 2013 while that of the chairperson will expire on the 31st of August 2014. Accordingly, the standing Rules and Orders Committee is hereby calling on the public to nominate persons to be considered for appointments to this commission,” the notice reads.

Prospective commissioners should have at least 10 years’ experience in crime investigations, a background in public accounting or public auditing.

Last week, legislators claimed that despite the lapse of the commissioners’ term of office, they were still drawing salaries and allowances and had incurred a $500 000 debt in vehicle hire for their own private errands.

Mohadi said upon re-examination, it was realised that the reappointment of the commissioners was unconstitutional and hence the directive ordering commissioners not to undertake work until finalisation by Parliament which said it would advertise posts for commissioners.

The nine Zacc commissioners who were nominated by the inclusive government along partisan lines, were told to resume duties in a memo dated May 29 2014 and signed by commission chairperson Denford Chirindo.

The general notice 29/05/14, titled “Resumption of duty by commissioners” reads: “Please be advised that the secretary for Home Affairs (the accounting officer) has advised that the commissioners whose term of office expired in August 2013 should come back to work with immediate effect so that they continue to function until a new commission has been set up by his Excellency the President.”

The Zacc was established in 2005 with a mandate to curb corruption in all sectors of the economy.

The country has a long history of corruption in the post-colonial era with prominent examples including the Willowgate, the VVIP Housing Scheme, the War Victims Compensation Fund scandals and, recently, Salarygate scam, among others.

To date, no significant corruption cases have been dealt with both by the previous and the current commission despite officials receiving their salaries and allowances.

Zimbabwe is ranked 157 out of 177 of the world’s most corrupt countries in the Transparency International 2013 index.

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