Zimbabwe has been experiencing a series of natural disasters over the past few years. These include the #Cyclone Idai which affected Manicaland and some parts of Masvingo in March 2019, and recurring floods in low lying areas such as Muzarabani and Binga. Currently the world over is grappling with the spread of the #Corona Virus (#COVID-19) which has become a global pandemic. In the African Region the number of conformed cases continue to rise. The official number of confirmed positive cases in Zimbabwe is currently sitting at three, however, this is likely to rise as people continue not to make social distancing a priority.
Implications of corruption on #COVID-19early dictation and case management
As has been witnessed in the past, corruption often thrives during times of crisis. It is during this time that institutions and oversight mechanisms are weak as the Government and other stakeholders are under pressure to disburse aid rapidly and alleviate the suffering of those affected. Studies have also shown that countries in which the majority of humanitarian aid is delivered already suffer from high levels of corruption prior to an emergency. The cholera epidemic of 2018 and the Cyclone Idai national disaster of 2019 exposed the ugly face of corruption in humanitarian aid and social protection initiatives. A study by Transparency International Zimbabwe on corruption risks and vulnerabilities in social protection and humanitarian aid initiatives with a focus on the cyclone Idai (Chimanimani) and cholera pandemic in Harare (Budiriro and Glenview) revealed massive corruption and abuse of public funds and aid from well-wishers by those who had the responsibility to
distribute aid. Some of the key issues which emanated from the study include the following:
The World Health Organization( WHO) recently declared #COVID-19 a global disaster and a few ago back Zimbabwe also declared #COVID-19 a national disaster through Statutory Instrument 76/2020 Civil Protection (Declaration of State of Disaster Rural and Urban Areas of Zimbabwe) (COVID-19) Notice, 2020. The fact that the country has declared #COVID 19 a national disaster means that resources and humanitarian aid will be channeled towards early dictation and case management of suspected COVID-19 cases Zimbabwe. So far the country has received aid from the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundation is currently upgrading of the Wilkins hospital in Harare.
It is therefore important for the Government and relevant stakeholders to be cognisant of the various risks and vulnerabilities that may emanate at a time like this as we deal with the #COVID-19 as a nation and take measures to safeguard against these. Allowing corruption to thrive at a time like this will only result in those in dire need of the assistance not benefitting from the resources availed.
TIZ recommendations to strengthen transparency in the use of public funds during the COVID 19 crisis.
information and communications technology to disseminate such information. TI Z also recommends that the Inter-ministerial task force on #COVID-19 sets up a website wherein stakeholders can utilise to make their
donations. This will improve transparency and accountability.
disclose the beneficial owners of their businesses in order to avoid fraud, misuse of political power to get tenders as well as conflict of interest. TI Z therefore calls upon the Government through the Procurement Regulation of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) to publish names of all companies supplying goods and services during this period to disclose their beneficial owners. This information must be verifiable.
impact of #COVID-19 to ensure that there are internal mechanisms and safeguarding policies that prevent corruption and abuse of recipients of humanitarian aid.