The High Court of Zimbabwe has ordered the government to gazette a Bill which comprehensively deals with corruption including asset disclosures and term limits for State-owned Enterprises (SOE) heads.
The ruling which was made by Justice Manzunzu was necessitated by an application by Tendai Biti on behalf of Allan Norman Markham which sought to compel the government to come up with such a law in terms of Section 198 on the national constitution of 2013.
Ruling, Justice Manzunzu said:
1. The first respondent’s failure to formulate within a reasonable time a Bill to give effect to the Act envisaged in section 198 (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe is in breach of section 324 of the Constitution.
2. The first respondent is ordered to gazette the Bill envisaged by section 198 (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe within three months from the date of this order.
3. The first respondent shall pay costs of suit.
Speaking after the ruling, Biti, a former Minister of Finance and Economic Development during the Government of National Unity (GNU), expressed delight in the outcome. He wrote on Twitter:
We are pleased that the High Court has granted judgment forcing government to come up with such law in 3 month.
Perceptions are high that corruption runs rampant in Zimbabwean society, partly due to the impunity that surrounds cases of grand and political corruption and the lack of legislation applicable in some cases.
Observers also recommend building the capacity and expertise of investigators, prosecutors, and judicial officers; strengthening coordination between state anti-corruption agencies; and adopting whistle-blower and witness protection legislation and frameworks.