‘Mugabe must lead by example in assets declaration’

‘Mugabe must lead by example in assets declaration’

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ZIMBABWE – President Robert Mugabe must lead by example and publicly declare his assets before making it mandatory for all public officials, chairperson of the African Parliamentary Network against Corruption Willias Madzimure said yesterday. 

Madzimure was responding to Mugabe’s directive in his speech at the official opening of the Third Session of the Eighth Parliament last week where he said all high-level public office holders should disclose their assets upon assumption of office.

“The scourge of corruption continues to rear its ugly head at all levels of our society. Government will, therefore, ginger up its systems to effectively respond to this challenge,” Mugabe said.

“As part of this effort, a code of conduct will be put in place, in terms of which all high-level public office holders shall be required to disclose their assets upon assumption of office, or to declare their interests on matters that may create scope for conflict of interest.

“A National Code of Corporate Governance Bill to bolster the fight against corruption will be brought for consideration by this Parliament.”

But Madzimure questioned the seriousness of the statement, saying Mugabe should show his sincerity by declaring his assets first like what his counterpart Namibian President Hage Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingob did last year when they publicly declared theirs.

“This is just talk for publicity’s sake. Mugabe has been talking of corruption over and over again, and issues of a code of conduct are not new. Former State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo recommended a corporate governance document to fight corruption three years ago, but nothing was done.

“There is no seriousness to fight corruption and I can bet my last dollar that the National Code of Corporate Governance Bill will not be crafted by 2018. What is supposed to happen is that even those people already in government must declare their assets, starting with the President.”

Madzimure said most ministers had personal businesses which were in the same line of interest as the ministries they headed, adding it was imperative for them to declare their assets to prove they did not acquire their wealth corruptly.

“The President has business interests, and so do many ministers. We should see political will in combating corruption. Even at Parliament there has not been will by the Standing Rules and Orders Committee to ensure legislators declare their assets.

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