THE Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) is gravely concerned that some Zimbabwean non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are being implicated in acts of corruption, fraud and mismanagement of development resources.
The most recent case being that of Amnesty International-Zimbabwe Chapter, whose audit unearthed serious fraud and financial mismanagement involving millions of dollars. ACT-SA acknowledges that NGOs play an important role in development but acts of bad governance, corruption, mismanagement and fraud should not be found anywhere near them.
If alleged, these cases must be investigated to their logical conclusion and all those implicated should be brought to book to avoid a repeat of the same.
Mr David Jamali, the chairperson of ACT-SA, has exhorted individuals NGOs to develop and implement internal anti-corruption and fraud policies to guide their staff. This helps to prevent these unfortunate developments.
“I have grave doubt on whether the majority of NGOs have internal anti-corruption and fraud policies to guide their staff and boards of directors. The policies must be immediately developed and implemented.
“Stealing donated money is tantamount to stealing from the people. Just imagine cases in which money for OVCs, the elderly, the disabled and other vulnerable groups being pocketed by individuals. This should not be condoned at all,” he said.
Mr Jamali further urged organisations such as the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (Nango) and other like-minded umbrella organisations to ensure that their membership has adequate internal anti-corruption and fraud policies before admission.
“I would strongly urge that umbrella organisations such as Nango should help its membership to develop and implement internal anti-corruption and fraud policies. This is also one of the areas in which ACT-SA pledges to support in view of its experience in anti-corruption,” he added.
The case of Amnesty International-Zimbabwe is among several others that were unearthed in recent years. Considering the significant role played by NGOs, there is a need for prompt action to nip the problem in the bud.
Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa), Number 16, 2nd Avenue, P.O.Box 93, Kwekwe, Zimbabwe