Business Sector Strengthening

Corruption negatively affects business development. It can affect everything from business licenses acquisition to contracts. Corruption may result in business deals containing hidden prices. while partnerships are chosen for the sake of expediency rather than quality.

At ACT-SA, we focus on empowering the micro, small to medium enterprises to shun corruption.

We promote integrity in business by encouraging the business sector to adopt stronger internal control, ethics and other anti-corruption models by putting in place robust corporate governance systems.

We give special attention to:

  • Empowering business enterprises to understand what corruption is and how it affects them;
  • Give them technical support to develop, and implement internal anti-corruption policies;
  • Sustain anti-corruption dialogue among the micro, small to medium enterprises themselves through Anti-Corruption forums; and
  • Facilitating the development and enforcement of Anti-corruption Charters

Examples of the impact of our efforts

Empowering Business Sector against Corruption


The “Empowering Small to Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Midlands Province to Resist and Report Corruption” project, generously supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), yielded several best practices that can be widely applied to enhance anti-corruption efforts. These practices, rooted in the project’s learnings and outcomes, provide valuable insights into effective methods of combating corruption within small and medium-sized enterprises, offering a roadmap for other organizations looking to strengthen their anti-corruption strategies and frameworks.


The Objectives of the Project included:

·        1- To empower 75 SMEs drawn from Kwekwe, Gweru and Zvishavane to monitor, report and take action against corruption affecting SME development;

·        2- To provide technical support to 5 SMEs to develop, approve, implement and enforce internal anti-corruption policies as an example for others to follow


The above objectives and results were meant to be achieved through the following activities:

·        1- Training and setting up SMEs Anti-Corruption Monitoring Voluntary Action Groups involving SMEs in Kwekwe, Gweru and Zvishavane;

·        2- Developing a model internal anti-corruption policy for SMEs; and

·        3- Giving Technical support towards the implementation of internal anti-corruption policies for SMEs


The Project’s immediate results included:

·        1- 75 SMEs mobilized and mobilized into three trained SMEs Anti-Corruption Monitoring Voluntary Action Groups involving SMEs in Kwekwe, Gweru and Zvishavane;

·        2- A model internal anti-corruption policy for SMEs drafted; and

·        3- At least 5 well established SMEs adopt internal anti-corruption policies


The Progress Made included:

·        ACT-SA successfully conducted three anti-corruption trainings for micro, small to medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Kwekwe, Gweru, and Zvishavane districts. These workshops, attended by a total of 91 MSMEs, exceeded the original target of 75 beneficiaries, representing a commendable accomplishment. The trainings, held in adherence to a comprehensive anti-corruption curriculum developed by ACT-SA, provided MSMEs with valuable knowledge and skills to effectively identify, resist, and report instances of corruption within their organizations. Download the Reports: Kwekwe Report, Gweru Report and Zvishavane Report. Also download the Training Manual.

·        With the support from an Advocate and a former High Court Judge, Advocate Michael Majuru, a sample Model Internal Anti-Corruption Policy was developed and validated. Download the Model Internal Policy,

·        The trained micro, small to medium enterprises set up SMEs Anti-Corruption Forums in Kwekwe, Gweru and Zvishavane.

 Download a copy of the Final Project Report


Notable Best Practices emerging from the Project


a)    1- Development of an Internal Model Anti-Corruption Policy for the Micro, Small to Medium Enterprises

This Model Policy was designed to assist SMEs in developing, implementing, and enforcing their own internal anti-corruption policies as a means of addressing corruption within their organizations and mitigating its detrimental impact on business growth and sustainability. The Policy serves as a valuable tool to aid SMEs in establishing robust anti-corruption practices that align with the highest standards of corporate governance and transparency.

The versatility of the Model Policy lies in its adaptability to cater to the diverse requirements and interests of individual businesses. The policy is not rigid, allowing enterprises to tailor the policy to their unique circumstances, ensuring that it adequately meets their specific needs and addresses the particular risks faced by their organization. Interested businesses can therefore freely review the policy and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that it adequately aligns with their circumstances and objectives.

The policy document serves as a formal communication of the organization’s stance on bribery, fraud, and other corrupt practices. It defines the responsibilities and expectations of the company with respect to compliance and observance of these standards. In essence, the objectives of the policy are:

·        To communicate the organization’s zero-tolerance stance on bribery, fraud, and other corrupt practices.

·        To define the roles and responsibilities of employees in maintaining ethical standards and reporting any suspected breaches.

·        To provide a framework for addressing allegations of bribery, fraud, and corruption, including disciplinary procedures.

 ACT-SA strongly advocates for the adoption of Internal Anti-Corruption Policies by all micro, small to medium enterprises, considering the numerous advantages that an organization can reap from operating in a corruption-free environment. The establishment of an anti-corruption policy can contribute to increased trust and transparency within the organization, fostering a culture of integrity, and ultimately enhancing business growth and sustainability. Moreover, it can protect the organization from costly legal ramifications associated with corruption and bribery, thereby safeguarding its reputation and preserving its profitability in the long run.

ACT-SA extends a warm invitation to all businesses that are interested in adopting the Model Policy. The organization is willing to provide its technical expertise and support free of charge, facilitating the process of developing and implementing an effective Internal Anti-Corruption Policy.

Individuals or organizations seeking further information or assistance with this initiative are encouraged to contact ACT-SA directly, where they will be provided with the necessary support and resources to enhance their anti-corruption efforts.

 Refer to Pages 11-13 of this Report showing a list of businesses and other entities that developed Internal Anti-Corruption Policies under the Project.

 Development and signing of SMEs Charters against Corruption

As part of the pilot project, the SME forum members committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and transparency in their operations, reflecting a strong resolve to eradicate corruption and support the zero-tolerance policy promoted by Zimbabwean leadership.

 This commitment to anti-corruption practices is underpinned by the recognition of the positive impact that their businesses have on national development, with their contributions spanning various sectors, including:

1. Employment creation;

2. Poverty reduction through being a source of livelihood;

3. Urban and rural development;

4. Value addition and beneficiation of local natural resources utilizing available expertise;

5. Backward and forward linkages that strengthen economic growth;

6. Flexibility and innovative capacity to generate new business with less capital;

7. Addressing the local and regional economic imbalances within the country;

8. Indigenization of the economy;

9. Technological transfer;

10. Human capital development through work related learning by trainees or interns;

11. Spreading the entrepreneurial spirit within communities;

12. Facilitation of a wider economic inclusion, creation and equitable distribution of wealth; and

13. Food security and nutrition.


Committed to advancing the national anti-corruption agenda and fostering the growth of SMEs in Zimbabwe, the members of the SME forum pledged to uphold the highest ethical standards and remain vigilant against corruption in all its forms.

Recognizing the symbiotic relationship between an incorrupt business environment and the development of SMEs, the forum members expressed their conviction that by resisting corruption, they could not only support the national anti-corruption drive but also foster a climate that is conducive to the growth and prosperity of their businesses.

To this end, they committed themselves to:

1. Denounce corruption affecting our businesses whenever and wherever it happens without fear or favor;

2. Resist corruption at all times, which includes refusing to pay bribes to get tenders, permits or avoid being ticketed, among other scenarios;

3. Prevent corruption and ensure that we execute our business activities within the confines of the Zimbabwean law;

4. Report any act of corruption and ensure that our reports are taken seriously by the authorities we report to;

5. Raise awareness against corruption at all times;

6. Condemn all forms of corruption, regardless of whoever commits this evil;

7. Being an exemplary business sector at all times;


In addition, after signing the Charter, they committed themselves to develop and implement internal anti-corruption policies within twenty-one (21) days from the date of signing of the Charter


2- Setting up SMEs Anti-Corruption Forums

The SMEs Forums supported the idea of collective action against corruption. Instead of fighting corruption as individuals they felt that there is security in doing so as a group. When businesses unite in a forum or coalition dedicated to combating corruption, they gain several advantages over individual efforts.

Firstly, collaboration enables businesses to leverage collective resources, expertise, and influence, resulting in a more comprehensive and effective anti-corruption strategy.

Secondly, sharing best practices and experiences within the forum allows members to learn from each other, identify new opportunities and strategies, and build collective understanding and resilience against corruption.

Thirdly, a unified voice against corruption has a greater impact on policymakers, regulators, and the public, increasing the likelihood of meaningful change and encouraging wider adoption of anti-corruption practices.

 Way Forward

The success of the “Empowering Small to Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Midlands Province” project has paved the way for continued efforts to expand its reach and impact across Zimbabwe.

With the invaluable insights gained from this pioneering initiative, ACT-SA is now embarking on an ambitious journey to replicate and enhance its anti-corruption trainings in other regions of the country, aiming to sustain the positive momentum and support the nationwide drive to eliminate corruption.

To partner with ACT-SA on the “Empowering Small to Medium Enterprises” project or engage in other anti-corruption initiatives, interested parties are encouraged to connect with the organization via the following channels:

Contact Information:

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Phone: +263 783011963