Gathering Momentum

Gathering Momentum

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March 08, 2016

spotlight Compliance Champion Spotlight

What is a Compliance Champion? A Compliance Champion is an individual or organization committed to fostering and raising the standards of anti-bribery compliance. TRACE Trends will include posts featuring Compliance Champions from time to time.

We hope you enjoy the following entry from this week’s Compliance Champion, and TRACE Partner Law Firm!

Today’s guest blog post is written by Mr. Dumisani Mthombeni, attorney at Bmatanga, TRACE’s Partner Law Firm in Zimbabwe.  Dumisani leads the firm’s practices in Criminal Law Litigation, Immigration Law, Administration Law and Governance and is an active member of the anti-corruption community.

 New commissioners for the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) were sworn in by the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, on February 24, 2016. The swearing in is viewed as both timely and a sign of the growing political will to combat corruption in Zimbabwe. 

In accordance with Section 254 of Zimbabwe's Constitution, commissioners “must be chosen for their integrity and their knowledge of and experience in administration or the prosecution or investigation of crime.”  The commission’s purpose is to investigate and combat corruption in both public and private sectors; promote transparency; and field complaints from the public for possible action.  However, the term of office for the last ZACC commissioners expired in August 2013; since then, Zimbabwe has not had a functional anti-corruption watchdog and the fight against corruption has been on auto-pilot.  

Further evidence of the growing political will to arrest corrupt practices in Zimbabwe, the Office of the President and Cabinet, which oversees public procurement reforms, held a workshop in partnership with the World Bank in late February 2016 to solicit views and input of parliamentarians on the Public Procurement Draft Bill. The Parliament is expected to pass the bill, “which seeks to overhaul and modernize the public procurement system,” by June 2016. Such progressive developments in Zimbabwe will force compliance and procurement officers to play by the book. The bill may be able to close the gap that has allowed many corrupt practices to go unpunished due to lackluster regulation of procurement issues. 

It is our fervent hope that, going forward, it will no longer be business as usual and we will see the fight against corruption in Zimbabwe gathering momentum and yielding positive results. 

For more on this topic, please see the following resources:

President swears in commissioners
Procurement Draft Bill complete
TRACE Matrix - Zimbabwe
TRACE Compendium – Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC

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