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Zimbabwean Legislator Urges Mandatory Financial Disclosure by Public Officials

Zimbabwean parliamentarian Willas Madzimure argued for disclosure saying the electorate worries that legislators, officials in the executive branch and those appointed to the judiciary may abuse their offices

The African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption says the Zimbabwean Parliament should enact legislation obliging lawmakers, senior government officials and members of the judiciary to declare their financial assets before taking office as a step against corruption by those in high office.

Parliamentarian Willas Madzimure, chairman of the network's Zimbabwe chapter, said the electorate worries that legislators, executive branch members and those appointed to the bench may abuse their offices.

Madzimure, who represents the Harare suburb of Kambuzuma, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that some politicians in Zimbabwe have corruptly amassed wealth as they are not subject to such public scrutiny.

“As there are many politicians using public offices to enrich themselves, we believe that this can be curbed if MPs, members of the bench and senior state officials are obliged to declare their assets,” he said.

Nhlanhla Dube, deputy national secretary for information with the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said Zimbabwe’s new constitution should require such disclosure.

Though a parliamentary rule requires disclosure, the legislature has not enforced this.

During the 1980s the ruling ZANU-PF party drafted a so-called leadership code obliging members to declare their assets - but it disappeared from party statutes after members said it was too Marxist-oriented.