Top central and local government officials, among them cabinet ministers, have been ordered to declare their wealth as part of efforts by the new dispensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to promote public transparency and accountability.
Mnangagwa declared war on corruption—largely blamed for stunting economic growth—when he took over power from former president, Robert Mugabe, who was forced to resign following a military intervention, civilian pressure and an impeachment process by parliament.
The list of officials to declare their assets by end of February includes ministers, their deputies, permanent secretaries and senior principal directors.
Board chairpersons and board members of public enterprises and parastatals, chief executive officers of State entities, chairpersons and members of constitutional commissions as well as executive officers of local authorities must also declare their assets through written submissions.
It is not clear, however, if the president and his two deputies will also declare their assets.
Since taking over from Mugabe, Mnangagwa has arrested high profile individuals linked to Mugabe and his wife, Grace.
However, his campaign has been tarnished by allegations of targeting his political foes.
The new development was announced through a statement from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) on Tuesday.
Written declarations by the top officials must give information on immovable property owned by concerned individuals or in which they have interests and any movable property worth at least $100,000.
Officials are expected to formally divulge their business interests too.
“The Declaration of Assets documents should be submitted under sealed envelope to the undersigned by no later than 28th February, 2018,” wrote Misheck Sibanda, the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet in the statement.
“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,” he added.
The move follows Mnangagwa’s appeal on 24 November 2017 when he was inaugurated that the post-Mugabe administration must be transparent and accountable.
“(T)he President has consistently called for strict adherence to the fundamental tenets of good corporate governance,” said Sibanda.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) last year promised a similar exercise for its officers but nothing has been heard of it since then.
Augustine Chihuri, the former ZRP Commissioner General, was recently retired amid sweling concerns that he was presiding over a corrupt police services establishment.
Below is the full statement from the OPC.
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE PRESIDENT AND CABINET, DR. M.J.M. SIBANDA ON THE MANDATORY
DECLARATION OF ASSETS BY SENIOR PUBLIC SERVICE OFFICERS
It will be recalled that in his inaugural address on 242′ November 2017, His Excellency the President made an undertaking to create a 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 should contain the following information
- details of all immovable property owned by the Public Servant, or those in which he/she has an interest;
- any item of closable property, exceeding one hundred thousand dollars (US$100 000.00) in yakesowned 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 nature of the interest in the property or business concerned should be dearly stated.
The Declaration of Assets documents should be submitted under sealed, envelope to the undersigned by not later than 28th February, 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.