As stipulated in Statutory Instrument 99 of 2020, Public Health (COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Treatment) (National Lockdown) (Amendment) Order, 2020 (No. 5) it is a legal requirement that citizens must wear masks.
Everyone going about their business in the central business district will be wearing one of their own, mostly homemade because of our problems dating back to decades ago. At first glance, masks always hide the facial phenotypes of those who wear them.
Even the government of Zimbabwe created their own huge mask and covered their mouths and noses. Too afraid to speak to its people about public resource management!
However, as Jody Wood would put to it, “Transparency is removing the mask and revealing who you really are…”
AID TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY
According to the OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, “Integrity, transparency and the fight against corruption have to be part of the culture. They have to be thought as fundamental values.”
Aid transparency entails mechanisms that are put in place to record and disseminate information of how funds from donations are spent. Most of these mechanisms makes sure the donated funds reach the intended destinations.
Transparency and accountability are ideals that are hinged on access to information and proactive disclosure of ongoing events, including the intended aims. The opposite always increases mistrust, insecurities and depleted integrity.
Scoring 24 on a 0 to 100 mark, Zimbabwe is ranked 158 out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index of 2019. It must be realized that corruption breeds in an economy where there is low accountability and transparency.
A stroll to the recent similar dynamic can be taken back to 2019 when Cyclone Idai ravaged parts of the country and aid started pouring into the country.
A number of reports indicate inconsistences and highlights diversion of donations which was meant for victims towards personal gains. Such scenarios were also present during the Tokwe-Mukosi floods and the Chingwizi camp floods with claims that some senior government officials had a hand in the disappearance of aid.
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission should play ball and other monitoring departments should play a critical role in making sure that there is fiscal transparency on Covid-19 aid. The parliament also has a fundamental role to play as usual.
It is prudent that civic actors such as Transparency International Zimbabwe are taking necessary measures, such as dragging the government to court so that it publishes the matrix on how the donations are being spent.
In the wake of Covid-19, it is plausible that the government of Zimbabwe published a list of all donations that had been received towards the pandemic.
It is essential that the government get rid of that mask, for completeness and reassurance give the citizens of Zimbabwe a breakdown of how those funds were used and if they reached the intended beneficiaries.
The citizens can only play a role in oversight and monitoring public resource management when they have access to the raw information of where the donations were supposed to go.
The citizens agree with Howard Schultz, “…the currency of leadership is transparency. You’ve got to be truthful!!!”