Unearth corruption and name bribers: Mines minister challenged [Zimbabwean, The]
(Zimbabwean, The Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The Centre for Natural Resource Governance has called on the Mines minister, Walter Chidhakwa to name the individuals who purportedly offered him bribes if he is to promote accountability and transparency in the mining sector.
This follows Chidhakwa's revelations that he was offered bribes soon after his appointment as the minister responsible for the mines ministry.
A statement issued by the CNRG said being offered bribes barely eight weeks in office reflected that the practice was rampant in Zimbabwe.
Chidhakwa was quoted as saying: "I can't tell you what transpired but what I can tell you is that the private sector approaches many people.
"The issue of corruption should not be viewed only from the recipient of the bribe, it must also be seen from the perspective of the giver as they are both corrupt, but I was approached," said Chidhakwa.
However, CNRG said failure by the minister to name and shame individuals who offered him the bribe promoted corruption and failure to call for investigations did not reflect transparency and accountability in the mining sector.
Read the statement: "The minister must have named and shamed the individual or company that offered the bribe to show that government was serious in fighting corruption."
"Hiding the name is tantamount to covering up corruption."
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa is on record saying that in the nine months to September 2013, treasury did not receive any proceeds from diamond revenue.
The newly-appointed minister told parliamentarians in Victoria Falls at a 2013 Budget Review Seminar that out of a targeted $40 million expected from diamond sales, no revenue had been submitted to government coffers during the period under review.
CNRG said Chidhakwa should review mining contracts agreed under the previous mines minister, Obert Mpofu, whose reign was tainted by corruption allegations claiming that diamond revenues were being illegally diverted from the State.
"A significant number of mining contracts were negotiated secretly resulting in deals that are prejudicing government and communities," read the statement.
"These contracts resulted in under-invoicing, transfer mispricing, tax evasion and other forms of illicit financial flows."
The organisation said because mining was the biggest contributor of revenue collection for government, the sector had the potential to double its contribution if corruption is curtailed.
CNRG aims at promoting accountability and transparency surrounding management and utilisation of natural resources in Zimbabwe.
The Centre thrives to create a platform for policymakers, communities and extractive industries to sustainable natural management of natural resource.
The organisation works with communities, extractive industries and local authorities to open dialogue, understanding and monitor adherence of acceptable social corporate responsibility practices and human rights.
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