US embassy cable - 02HARARE1376

USG ANTICORRUPTION EFFORTS IN ZIMBABWE

Identifier: 02HARARE1376
Wikileaks: View 02HARARE1376 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Harare
Created: 2002-06-06 09:46:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PGOV KCRM KSEP SOCI ZI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


 
UNCLAS HARARE 001376 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
INL/C FOR DLUNA AND JBRANDOLINO 
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER 
LONDON FOR CGURNEY 
PARIS FOR CNEARY 
TREASURY FOR EBARBER AND CWILKINSON 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV, KCRM, KSEP, SOCI, ZI 
SUBJECT: USG ANTICORRUPTION EFFORTS IN ZIMBABWE 
 
REF: SECSTATE 90733 
 
1.  (SBU) Corruption at the official level in Zimbabwe has 
increased markedly in the last several years as the 
Government has systematically undermined the rule of law to 
browbeat political opponents and the ruling party has 
expanded its already considerable system of patronage. 
Corruption, once confined to petty transgressions, has 
evolved into something on a grand scale, and it has permeated 
every level of society from senior ministers and parastatal 
executives to civil servants and peasants.  Nearly everyone 
with ties to government or the ruling party has benefited 
from the government's illegal and massive grab of commercial 
farms.  A political environment of impunity has allowed 
opportunists to flourish and senior officials to plunder the 
country's dwindling resources.  The Government's half-hearted 
effort at an Anti-Corruption Commission in the late 1990s 
floundered and it remains unfunded and unstaffed. 
Prosecutors have not pursued pending corruption cases against 
several ministers and other high-level officials despite 
promises from the head of state at the time that justice 
would be swift and impartial. 
 
2.  (SBU) Against this backdrop and given current chilly 
US-Zimbabwe relations, the USG provides no anti-corruption 
technical assistance to the GOZ.  Given the GOZ's 
demonstrated lack of political will to fight corruption and 
its history of politicizing and misusing direct assistance, 
we would not encourage extending any assistance to the GOZ in 
this area, nor would we advocate inviting GOZ representatives 
to attend the anti-corruption conferences in South Korea next 
year. 
 
3.  (SBU) There are no notable efforts in the Zimbabwe 
private sector to temper corruption, but civil society groups 
periodically press the GOZ to rein in corruption. 
Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) leads the civil 
society effort, and has a director who coordinates with other 
local NGOs, such as ZimRights and the Confederation of 
Zimbabwe Industries, in fighting corruption.  USAID funds a 
$100,000/year TIZ program that works with the Parliament of 
Zimbabwe's Public Accounts Committee in advocating 
anti-corruption efforts in the public sector and in closing 
loopholes in legislation that make corrupt practices easier. 
For example, TIZ is seeking the repeal of sections of the 
District Development Fund Act that tend to encourage 
corruption at the local level.  TIZ also continues to press 
the GOZ, through the Ministry of Justice, to fund and staff 
the Anti-Corruption Commission, and permit it to undertake 
its mandated mission.  The USG also sponsored TIZ's director, 
John Makumbe, on an International Visitor Program visit to 
the U.S. in early 2002. 
 
SULLIVAN 

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