Youths have a role to play in as far as fighting corruption and creating a corrupt free generation if they are appointed in anti-corruption bodies, an official has said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Anti-corruption mini summit in Harare , the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Liang underscored the need for youths to be proactive in tackling corruption which she said was very rampant in Zimbabwe.
“Youths have a central role to play when it comes to bringing an end to corruption. They are the future leaders and it is upon them to make sure their future is not compromised.
“The British government saw it noble to take this opportunity to have a conversation with the youths and hear what they think about corruption and measures that can be taken to curb it.
“More importantly, we took time to urge them to desist from corrupt activities and right the wrongs that were done by the older generation, mainly politicians and show commitment in the fight against corruption.”
The summit, which was taking place concurrently with the Global Summit on Anti-corruption in London, was running under the theme “FIGHTING CORRUPTION: Can young people redefine, protect and defend the future” saw a number of youths registering their agony at how, Zimbabwe, in particular had institutionalized corruption and how those that have been nabbed for engaging in corrupt activities have been let free simply because they hold high ranking offices.
Youths pinpointed lack of strong anti-corruption laws, impunity and broken leadership as the major causes of corruption in Zimbabwe.
“The problem is that we have weak anti-corruption laws, and those implicated are just let off the hook without stiffer punishment, hence people just engage in it knowing they cannot face a long jail term. So we urge law makers to put in place stiffer penalties for perpetrators,” said David Chiwaza, president of Future Africa, a youth group that lobbies for a zero tolerance to corruption.
Youth Advocacy for Reform and Development leader and former ZANU PF legislature for Hurungwe West, Temba Mliswa said corruption starts with government officers who are required by law to declare their assets upon assuming the public office but never do so.
“Our top government officials are the most corrupt people, they acquire a lot of wealth at the expense of other citizens and they fail to declare their assets as required by law.
‘This is an indication that they have skeletons to hide, they should just do the noble thing and show how they acquired their wealth. As long as they do not do that, corruption will not end.”
Another social media anti-corruption activist, Evan Mawarire who has been challenging government to stop the rot said it is time that the youths speak out against corruption and urged youths not to resort to violent means of speaking out but use other means necessary.
Corruption is rampant in the country and has seen Zimbabwe being ranked number 150 in the Corruption Perception Index as of December 2015 with Denmark being the least corrupt country.
Meanwhile, the Public Service Commission has urged people to report any form of corruption they come across.
In a statement, the PSC secretary Ms. Pretty Sunguro said the commission has a long standing zero tolerance to corruption and anyone caught in the act should be reported regardless of their position.
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