Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of National Development Planning Mr. Trevor Kaunda says meaningful development cannot occur where there is corruption and lack of appropriate strategies to curb the vice.
Speaking when he officiated at the opening of an Integrity Committee training workshop for Ministry of National Development Planning and Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital on Tuesday, Mr. Kaunda said the requirement for public institutions to form integrity committees demonstrates government’s resolve to curb corruption through mainstreaming of anti-corruption interventions in public institutions.
“You will recall that his Excellency Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, president of the Republic of Zambia, in his official opening speech of the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly delivered on 11th September, 2020 directed that all government Ministries, Provinces and other spending agencies should ensure that integrity committees are operational in their institutions. This training of integrity committee members is a step towards implementation of the president’s directive and confirmation of his government’s commitment to the fight against corruption,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary also noted that the success of integrity committee initiative was tied to performance contracts of Chief Executive officers in public institutions, which was a clear indication of government’s efforts to promote zero tolerance to corruption.“You may wish to note that to reinforce Government’s effort towards the promotion of the culture of zero tolerance to corruption in Ministries and other public institutions, the government has further included establishment of integrity committees as a principal feature in the performance contracts of heads of institutions such as permanent secretaries.”
Mr. Kaunda added that fight against corruption was not the responsibility of the Anti-Corruption Commission alone but required the participation of all stakeholders to succeed.
And speaking at the same occasion, Anti-Corruption Commission Director-Corruption Prevention Mr. Zondwayo Soko, who was speaking on behalf of ACC Acting Director-General Mrs. Rosemary Nkonde-Khuzwayo said the Integrity Committee Programme for Zambia is one of the most effective corruption prevention measures designed to stop the occurrence of corrupt practices and other related malpractices in both public and private institutions.
Mr. Soko said Integrity Committees are designed to proactively deal with the triggers to corrupt practices and unethical conduct, thereby reducing opportunities for corruption in an organization. He added that existing Integrity Committees have been implementing several corruption prevention measures in their organizations including the development of integrity related policies such as gifts handling, conflict of interests and whistle blower protection.
The Anti-Corruption Commission has been facilitating the establishment of Integrity Committees in both public and private institutions. By the close of 2020, a total of 116 institutions had functioning Integrity Committees. The Anti-Corruption Commission regularly conducts trainings for both new and existing integrity committee members in order to strengthen their capacity to implement the activities of the Integrity Committees.