The Zimbabwean government has ordered ministers, deputy ministers, senior state officials, heads of various parastatals and others to submit a written declaration of their assets.
In a letter date January 23, 2018, signed by Dr. Misheck Sibanda, chief secretary of the president and cabinet, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government says this is in line with its thrust to eradicate corruption.
“It will be recalled that in his inaugural address on 24th November 2017, His Excellency the President made an undertaking to create responsible, transparent and accountable Public Service Workforce that is sworn to high moral standards and deserved rewards. Over the ensuing period, the President has consistently called for strict adherence to the fundamental tenets of good corporate governance.
“In line with the new thrust, it has become mandatory for all Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Heads of Ministries, Senior Principal Directors, Board Chairpersons and Board Members of State Enterprises and Parastatals, Chief Executive Officers of State Enterprises, all Chairpersons and Members of Constitutional Commissions (both executive and independent) and Chief Executives of Local Authorities to submit a written declaration of their assets.
The declaration of assets document is expected to contain details of all immovable property owned by the public servant or those in which he or she has interest and any item of movable property, exceeding $100,000 in value and owned or leased by the individual concerned or in which he or she has any other interest “and any business in which the individual has an interest in and or in which he or she plays a part in running.”
The document, according to Dr. Sibanda, should be submitted in a sealed envelope to him not later than February 28th, 2018.
“Heads of ministries are hereby directed to coordinate the collection, and submission of all declarations in respect of designated grades within their ministries, as well as in public entities, and constitutional bodies under their purview. The president expects the full and urgent cooperation of all affected office bearers in responding to this directive.”
Dr. Sibanda could not say if the documents would be publicized.
He was not immediately available for comment.
Critics say some officials are expected to start registering companies and other entities in the relatives’ names in order to submit properties with low values.
A similar exercise was initiated by former president Robert Mugabe’s government soon after the country obtained independence from British rule. The scheme never produced any tangible results.