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Corruption in Zimbabwe has become endemic within its political, private and civil sectors.[1]

Corruption in the public sector

The findings of a 2000 survey commissioned by Transparency International Zimbabwe found that Zimbabwean citizens regarded the public sector as the most corrupt sector in the country. In this survey respondents favoured the police as being most corrupt followed by political parties, parliament/legislature, public officials/civil servants and the judiciary.[2] In 2008, a Transparency International director announced that Zimbabwe loses US$5 million to corruption every day.[3]

On Transparency International's 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index, Zimbabwe scored 23 on a scale from 0 ("highly corrupt") to 100 ("very clean"). When ranked by score, Zimbabwe ranked 157th among the 180 countries in the Index, where the country ranked last is perceived to have the most corrupt public sector. [4] For comparison, the best score was 90 (ranked 1), the worst score was 12 (ranked 180), and the average score was 43.[5]

Diamond trade

In 2011, Finance Minister Tendai Biti claimed that at least US$1 billion in diamond-related revenue owed to the national treasury remains unaccounted for. Biti has blamed corruption, misappropriation and a lack of transparency for the systematic underselling of diamonds and the failure to recoup losses.[6] In an address to parliament, Biti said “it is worrying that there is no connection whatsoever between diamond exports made by Zimbabwe and the revenues realised thereof”.[7]

President Robert Mugabe and his politburo have also come under criticism for making personal benefits by assigning lucrative concessions in the Marange diamond fields to Chinese firms and the Zimbabwean military.[citation needed] The Zimbabwean military, which oversees the Marange fields, has been accused of systematic human rights abuses and smuggling of diamonds to neighbouring Mozambique.[8]

ZimBank Lottery

In January 2000, Fallot Chawaua, the Master of Ceremonies of a promotional lottery organised by the Zimbabwe Banking Corporation, announced that Robert Mugabe won the Z$100,000 first prize jackpot.[9][10] The lottery was open to all clients who had kept Z$5,000 or more in their ZimBank accounts.[9][10]

Indigenisation bills

In March 2008, President Mugabe formally approved the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Bill, which gave the government the right to seize a controlling 51% stake in foreign and white-owned businesses.[11] There are wide concerns that the beneficiaries of this Bill will be members of the ruling Zimbabwean elite, particularly after the enforcement of the Land Acquisition Act of 1992 and the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme Phase 2 of 1998 led to the misappropriation of commercial farm land and violent land invasions.[12][13]

Anti-corruption efforts

Anti-corruption efforts in Zimbabwe are governed by the following legislation:

  • The Prevention of Corruption Act (1983);
  • Public Service Act (1995);
  • The Ombudsperson Amendment Act (1997);
  • Anti-Corruption Commission Bill (2004);
  • The Criminal law (Codification and Reform) Act (2004);
  • Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Act (2004);
  • Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Act (2004); and
  • Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act of 2006

The Zimbabwean Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was established after the passing of the Anti-Corruption Commission Bill in June 2004.[13] The Commission is a signatory to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Protocol as well as the African Union (AU) and United Nations Convention on Anti-Corruption. However, according to a 2009 report by Global Integrity, the Commission is highly inefficient and “has very little authority to take steps aimed at stopping corruption in Zimbabwe”.[14] Out of 147 corruption cases reviewed by the Commission in 2006, only four were completed.[3] The ACC is currently chaired by Denfor Chirindo, who was appointed on 1 September 2011.[15]

List Of Corruption Scandals In Zimbabwe

Here is a list of reported corruption scandals in Zimbabwe since 1980:

  • 1987 – Zisco Steel blast Furnace Scandal
  • 1987 – Air Zimbabwe Fokker Plane Scandal – $100 million
  • 1986 – National Railways Housing Scandal
  • 1988 – Willowgate Scandal
  • 1989 – ZRP Santana Scandal
  • 1994 – War Victims Compensation Scandal
  • 1995 – GMB Grain Scandal
  • 1996 – VIP Housing Scandal
  • 1998 – Boka Banking Scandal
  • 1998 – ZESA YTL Soltran Scandal
  • 1998 – Telecel Scandal
  • 1998 – Harare City Council Refuse Tender Scandal
  • 1999 – Housing Loan Scandal
  • 1999 – Noczim Scandal
  • 1999 – DRC timber and diamond Un reported scandals
  • 1999 – GMB Scandal
  • 1999 – Ministry of water and rural development Chinese tender scandal
  • 1999 – VIP Land Grab Scandal
  • 2001 – Harare Airport Scandal
  • 2008-2014 - Airport Road Scandal
  • 2016 - Mnangagwa Command Agriculture Scandal
  • 2018 - Zesa scam Involving Samuel Undenge's criminal abuse of office [16]


  1. ^ National Integrity Systems (2007). "Country Study Report, Final Report: Zimbabwe (2006/7)". Transparency International. Archived from the original on 22 November 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  2. ^ Deborah Hardoon with Finn Heinrich (2011). "Daily Lives and Corruption: Public Opinion in Zimbabwe" (PDF). Transparency International.
  3. ^ a b Njabulo Ncube (2008). "2008 Assessment: Reporter's Notebook: Zimbabwe". Global Integrity. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  4. ^ "The ABCs of the CPI: How the Corruption Perceptions Index is calculated". Transparency.org. Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  5. ^ "Corruption Perceptions Index 2022: Zimbabwe". Transparency.org. Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  6. ^ Clemence Manyukwe (12 August 2011). "Diamonds worth US$1bn missing". The Financial Gazette. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  7. ^ Diamond Dealers Club New York (27 July 2011). "Zimbabwe Finance Minister says diamond export and revenue figures do not add up". Diamond Dealers Club New York. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  8. ^ Njabulo Ncube (2011). "Global Integrity Report: Zimbabwe Notebook 2011". Global Integrity. Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  9. ^ a b Acemoglu, Daron (2011). Why Nations Fail. New York: Crown Publishers. pp. 368. ISBN 978-0-307-71921-8.
  10. ^ a b "Mugabe hits the jackpot". BBC. 28 January 2000. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  11. ^ BBC News (9 March 2008). "Mugabe approve new ownership law". British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
  12. ^ Jack Eldon and Derek Gunby (April 2009). "States in Development: State Building and Service Delivery; Final Report". HLSP.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ a b Africa Confidential (18 November 2011). "Polls, leaks and expropriations". Africa Confidential.
  14. ^ Global Integrity (2011). "Zimbabwe – Scorecard 2011: Anti-Corruption Agency or Equivalent Mechanisms". Global Integrity.
  15. ^ Lance Guma (2 September 2011). "Zimbabwe: Anti-Corruption Commission Sworn in". PUBLISHER.
  16. ^ "Mnangagwa named in Zesa scam". 16 May 2018.