A new report produced by KPMG has ranked Zimbabwe as one of the top four African nations with the highest cases of fraud.
KPMG, which quoted findings in the second Africa Barometer report, said South Africa has the highest number of fraud cases closely followed by Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Kenya in fourth position.
In terms of the highest value of the fraud, Nigeria remains at the top of the index.
The four countries are said to account for 74 percent of all fraud cases reported on the continent, translating to $2 billion in the first half of the year.
According to KPMG, Harare is lagging behind in dealing with fraud cases, especially in the absence of a targeted response.
However, the organization said business has stepped up awareness of fraud and fraud prevention through workshops.
The report identified fraud and misrepresentation, misappropriation and theft, counterfeit and forgery, bribery and corruption; and money laundering as the major types of reported fraud.
The KPMG Africa Fraud Barometer revealed that the sectors with the highest risk of fraud are government with 55 percent, financial services with 18 percent and consumer markets at 7 percent.
Emilia Chisango, partner at KPMG-Zimbabwe told the VOA that dollarization of the economy accelerated fraud in Zimbabwe.
Chisango said: “People were used to making money in a very short space of time. Now with the dollarization of the economy you find that the basic economic fundamentals start to apply where a dollar is a dollar and the returns that you are getting are now in line with the rest of the world.”
Chisango said this means the people who were used to making a lot of money in a short space of time were now resorting to committing fraud to adjust their lifestyles.
Mary Jane Ncube, executive director of Transparency International Zimbabwe, said there is little investment placed in dealing with corruption and investing into ethical business conducts by both the business and political leadership.
“Everybody is trying to get a cut so it’s not surprising that the report will state that we make up 32 percent of the value of Africa’s fraud, which is quite shameful. We are a corrupt people.”
Economist and former president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries Callisto Jokonya said there is need to revisit “our value system as a nation”.
“The Anti-Corruption Commission does not seem to have the teeth and does not seem to have the commitment but for me what is strong and serious is the fact that for a nation to be a strong nation it starts from the family.
“If we do not teach our children proper values, when they move out in the world, they get corrupted easily,” Jokonya said.
However, Ncube said it does not matter what the Anti-Corruption Commission or the police does if there is no political will at the top to deal with corruption.
“Corruption is a political issue. If people at the top see national assets as something that they can take for private gain, they will not seriously address the issue of corruption.
"It doesn’t matter how competent the people you hire in the police or Anti-Corruption Commission are if the leadership does not give them the go ahead to say this corrupt person must be made to pay,” Ncube said.
Jokonya pointed out that the public, at the end of the day, has a final say by changing corrupt official in elections.