Southerton Member of Parliament Gift Chimanikire has called for the creation of a special police unit like South Africa’s Hawks or Scorpions to deal effectively with corruption.
In his contribution to the motion on good governance, Chimanikire said: “What we need in this country is a well oiled section of the Police Force that is above being corrupted. If we do not pay them well, they will not be able to arrest any corrupt person. If we do not also look after their welfare then they will be corrupted on arrival. Whilst they get to somebody who is corrupt, they will just be paid off and move on.”
The Scorpions were formed as a crack unit to deal with corruption in South Africa and were phased out and replaced by the Hawks.
Chimanikire also agreed with his colleagues who were calling for the recovery of all proceeds of corruption.
“We should be able to recover any benefits that accumulate as a result of corruption. If it is houses or motor vehicles, they should be auctioned and money, recovered to the fiscus,” he said.
MR. CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. This debate has been informed by most of the previous speakers on activities that have been going on in this country which are condemnable. Mr. Speaker Sir, it is regrettable that the last speaker seemed not to know what the motion was all about. It is regrettable Mr. Speaker that he seemed to concentrate –
THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order, order. May the hon. member desist from criticising other members. You may continue.
MR. CHIMANIKIRE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. What I meant is that the misappropriation in stealing of seed in distribution of seed and fertilizer did not start with the GNU. The corruption in that particular area, Willowgate was in the infancy of our democracy in Zimbabwe. Therefore, I think the House should be reminded that corruption did not start yesterday but yesteryear.
Mr. Speaker, I do agree with the proposal that we need to reinforce the Anti Corruption Commission. Currently, the Anti-Corruption Commission, if the newspapers reported correctly, last week they were being chucked out of their offices for failure to pay rent. If we are going to have an organ that is going to deal with corruption being kicked out of their offices whilst there is this vibrant debate in Parliament, this leaves a lot to be desired. The disempowerment of this particular organ and dragging some of its members to court is a deliberate ploy to ensure that no effective policing of corruption is done in this country.
Mr. Speaker, I believe that when the President spoke about Masimirembwa, he actually was looking at a situation which was based on a report he had received. Therefore, it is important for our institutions to report correctly to the President so that when he focuses as the amendment seeks to clarify in the motion, it should be based on correct information and thereby we end up with prosecutions being executed.
Mr. Speaker, when we look at corruption, that is why I disagree with the previous speaker, the issue of contracts and tenders did not start yesterday, neither did it start with the Government of National Unity. I was once an employee of the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation and we actually revealed some of the corrupt practices that were being undertaken through tenders and some contracts that were being signed in those organisations.
Mr. Speaker Sir, to try and protect the culprits is to do a disservice to the motion that is before us. I do support the establishment of a committee to re-enforce the dismembered Anti-Corruption Commission. I would like to thank those Portfolio Committees that have dragged some of the culprits before them and conducted hearings.
However, to underline the whole process and if Parliament is going to be effective, we need a special Police Force, like what they have in South Africa; the Hawks or Scorpions. In fact, what we need in this country is a well oiled section of the Police Force that is above being corrupted. If we do not pay them well, they will not be able to arrest any corrupt person. If we do not also look after their welfare then they will be corrupted on arrival. Whilst they get to somebody who is corrupt, they will just be paid off and move on.
I would also want to support the proposal that was mooted by an earlier speaker that we should be able to recover any benefits that accumulate as a result of corruption. If it is houses or motor vehicles, they should be auctioned and money, recovered to the fiscus.
Mr. Speaker Sir, unless we lawfully focus on this debate and make conclusions that are meaningful, we may end up destroying the vibrant debate that was started in this House. So, Mr. Speaker, I appeal to some of the members to avoid finger pointing and also avoid being criticized when we stand up to criticize corruption. I thank you.