The government has been called upon to get tough on corrupt officials by imposing deterrent measures on perpetrators if the vice that is threatening to retard development is to be nipped in the bud.

This comes on the back of the ongoing visits around the country by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth Development, Indeginisation and Economic Empowerment which have unearthed alleged rampant irregularities with issues of cronyism, greed and even nepotism central to the disbursement of the US$40 million youth revolving fund.

It has become fashionable for media to carry one or two stories of corrupt officials bleeding the country of millions of dollars while other officials have been fingered in nepotism by employing relatives and awarding tenders to cronies at the expense of deserving individuals with perpetrators seem to be getting away with it at will.

A survey by the ZBC News in Bulawayo proved that most of the people believe that there is need for government to get tough on perpetrators of the vice.

An academic, Mr Nkosana Dube called for the capacitating of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and urged the government to take a leaf from the Tanzanian government’s way of dealing with corrupt officials.

In Mashonaland East Province, leader of a Marondera based church, Apostle Jacob Muguraguri said the fight against corruption needs an all stakeholders approach.

The former magistrate also called for a policy and legislation review on the fight against corruption.

Educationist and Chairperson of the Mashonaland East Provincial Crime Consultative Committee, Mr Cleopas Kundiona said corruption affects every sector of society, adding that it is important to introduce the fight against the vice at school level.

Businessman, Charles Katerera believes that corruption leads to provision of substandard services as most of those awarded contracts for certain jobs will be having no expertise as the tenders are awarded to cronies.

In Mashonaland West Province, stakeholders said let there be no sacred cows on corruption issues.

In an interview with the ZBC News, ordinary Zimbabweans in Chinhoyi said the country is let down by lack of action towards corrupt officials, especially those at the top echelons of society.

The feeling of most of them is that apprehension and prosecution of some known or suspected corrupt individuals with financial and political muscle has not been pursued to satisfaction, thus letting culprits off the hook.

There is also a feeling that if action is not taken on corrupt individuals, this will result into economic deterioration as few corrupt individuals are lining up their pockets at the expense of the majority.

Other stakeholders blamed corruption on moral decadence and the corrosion of the country’s moral fibre.

An analyst and lawyer, Dr James Tsabora said a national programme seizes to be nationalist in outlook once it is highjacked by people who have no respect for systems.

An anti-corruption activist, Mr Dumisani Mthombeni said there is a general impunity by those entrusted in handling resources as no meaningful action has been taken against abusers of public funds.

“This is now a reflection of a total breakdown of accountability behind the handlers of public funds,” he said.

His view is shared by Advocate Martin Dinha, a minister and lawyer, who added that the biggest challenge is when funds are handled by those without respect for the law.

According to another lawyer, Mr Tapson Dzvetero, lack of proper checks and balances during and after the disbursement of funds to intended beneficiaries results in the abuse of funds and unless proper accountancy systems are put in place, public funds will be abused.

Corruption has reared its ugly head in both the public and private sectors and it appears as though there is reluctance by authorities to deal decisively with the scourge.

Bodies such as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) have generally been described as toothless bull dogs for failing to bring culprits to book.