Zimbabwe’s corruption watchdog body resigns en masse

Questions have been raised over the sudden and unexpected mass resignation of Zimbabwe’s entire executive that headed up the country’s anti-corruption commission.

Addressing journalists in Harare, chief secretary to the presidency and cabinet, Mischeck Sibanda, said the commission chair, Job Whabira, and his fellow commissioners would step down on Thursday.

No reason was provided for the mass walkout.

Sibanda just said that that “all commissioners have gone on leave pending the finalisation of their terminal benefits”.

And information secretary Nick Mangwana said the resignations would be used to “put in place a new commission that will re-energise the fight against corruption”.

The news of a void in the country’s corruption-curbing measures could not have come at a worse time for Zimbabwe whose global graft ranking now seems set to take another knock.

According to the latest assessment by the Berlin-based anti-corruption advocacy group, Transparency International (TI), Zim is “among the world’s 20 most corrupt countries”.

Out of 180 countries monitored by TI, Zim is currently placed 160th with a low-running transparency score of 20 out of 100.

But it finds itself in ‘good’ company, rubbing shoulders with Mozambique which is placed 158th with a score of 23.

Fellow SADC member Angola is worst of all, placed 165th with a score of 19.

Comparatively speaking South Africa is doing significantly better, placed 73rd with a score of 43, but lagging well behind Botswana – 34th with an enviable transparency score of 61.

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