INFORMATION Minister Jonathan Moyo says government should show full commitment towards ending rampant corruption within its firms and local authorities by elevating a recently crafted policy document on parastatal governance into law.
Struck by revelations of obscene remuneration and tender related fraud by executives running its 78 struggling entities and local authorities, government has crafted the so-called Corporate Governance and Remuneration Policy Framework to stem the rot.
But Moyo told an accountants' conference in Harare government should give the document sharper teeth to be more effective.
"The policy framework for the governance and management of parastatals, state enterprises and local authorities recently adopted by cabinet should be legislated through an Act of Parliament to ensure that the rot that has been unearthed is permanently removed from public entities by enshrining legal penalties for violators of the policy framework," Moyo said.
He urged the group and other professionals within the financial sector to play their part in ending the white collar crime.
"The time has come for public accountants and auditors in Zimbabwe to stand up and be counted in a visible way in the fight against corruption. Fighting corruption should not be the business of whistle blowers," Moyo said.
The Zanu PF politburo member is a lone figure in the Zanu PF led government who has taken tangible steps towards fighting corruption in the country's loss making entities.
Massive looting in the country's parastatals has seen about 3000 individuals who sat on boards or top managers of the entities drawing $600 million in salaries and allowances since 2009, and US$133 million last year alone.
Government, through the finance ministry has imposed a blanket $6 000 pay for all executives pending a resolution on what the appropriate remuneration was for each of the country's entities.
The drastic slash, condemned as a knee jerk reaction to a problem that needs long term solutions, is feared it will lead to the flight of skills from state companies, some of which are competing with well run private companies.
Reacting to this, Moyo said the country had enough skilled personnel to fill up the gap adding that the country was too poor to shoulder the burden of paying these obscene salaries.
"In any event, the claim that there would be a flight of skills if the corrupt salaries and allowances are reduced, as they have been capped at $6,000, is self-indulgent. What skill in God's name will be lost if Cuthbert Dube leaves PSMAS, as he has hopefully done to concentrate on doomed Zifa affairs?" he said.
Dube, recently re-elected ZIFA boss, took home a fat $535 000 monthly in both salary and allowances.
Moyo continued, "In fact, the one comparative advantage that Zimbabwe has is the existence of a critical core of professional skills possessed by young people in the country and the Diaspora who are ready to take their professional places but who are currently frustrated by the lack of opportunities.
"A related fact is that our country has not been able to fully utilise its skilled human resource endowment in light of the high unemployment rate and poor job creation. In this regard, there are sufficient skills at the right salary levels that the country can call upon to make parastatals and state enterprises succeed in accordance with their mandates."