24 September 2019
ZIMRA LIFESTYLE AUDITS A WELCOME DEVELOPMENT
The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) welcomes the steps taken by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZimRa) when it carried out lifestyle audits targeting its staff members. A lifestyle audit is understood as a comparison of known income with standard of living to identify gaps and indicators that someone is living above their means. If the lifestyle exceeds an official’s known income, suspicion of fraud and other acts of dishonesty are evident. The suspension of 36 ZimRa officials is a welcome development that will help to deter corruption.
Mr. Obert Chinhamo, the Director of ACT-SA urged other institutions to emulate what ZimRa has done and to carry out lifestyle audits targeting their staff members.
“ZimRa has obviously set the pace. That said, we expect other institutions to emulate the same and conduct these audits. This has always been our plea as ACT-SA. Let me also add that the declaration of assets and liabilities should also be mandatory to all public officials” he says
Mr. Chinhamo, named some institutions that should be subjected to the declarations and lifestyle audits.
“Apart from ZimRa, we have institutions such as the Zimbabwe Republic Police, state owned enterprises, Civil Society Organisations, present and former cabinet ministers and parliamentarians that should be subjected to lifestyle audits” he says
Again, Mr. Obert Chinhamo, urged the government and political parties to make declarations public.
“We have just been reading that some public officials had declared their assets and liabilities. It’s no use when these declarations are kept secret. Declarations should be made public and where possible, should be posted to some websites for the consumption of the public” he urges
Zimbabwe is home to many individuals who have accumulated a lot of wealth in and out of the country which should be accounted for. In most cases, the wealth is accumulated through proceeds of crime. ACT-SA urges that all wealth that can not be accounted for, be forfeited to the state. Furthermore, forfeited resources should be properly accounted for and used for the benefit of the people.–
Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa)
Number 16, 2nd Avenue
Tel: +2635525235/ +263717152535 / +263773302830