By JOHN CHIMUNHU|
Bribing corrupt public officials has become a way of doing business in Zimbabwe and those who refuse to pay can be forced out of business, a major new survey has found.
“One can’t do business without bribing someone in Zimbabwe,” leading business people told researchers conducting the Transparency International -Zimbabwe 2013 National Bribe Payers Index recently.
Results of the report, compiled in collaboration with Deloitte and Touché audit firm, were published in Harare on June 16 2014.
“The Index indicates that there is high demand for bribes in the constant business interaction between private sector players and between the private sector and the state,” the TIZ report says. “The findings indicate that there is high demand for or acceptance of bribes by public officials. Most business people told the research team that, ‘One can’t do business without bribing someone’. It should be noted that tendencies of bribe-paying are more common at the tendering or procurement stage and when companies seek clearances and licences from various state institutions such as Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.”
The researchers sampled 38 firms and found that a majority of them did not have corruption prevention in their risk management strategies. Those with the guidelines did not have regular anti-corruption training as required.
“What this is reflective of is that Zimbabwean companies do not appreciate the risk posed by corruption in their operations. This explains why some of these companies are losing money as a result of corruption in the form of fraudulent activities and insider trading deals,” the TI-Z report says.
“The absence of corruption prevention in the risk management strategy of most companies makes it highly unlikely for these companies to have measures to protect whistleblowers… Lack of protection measures to protect whistleblowers discourages individuals from reporting corruption as a result of fear of victimisation and intimidation. While the country has a Whistleblower Protection Fund that was established by the then RBZ Governor in 2003, its a few people who are aware of this facility.”
(c) NOW DAILY 2014.