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The Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) held a capacity building workshop for its Integrity Committee members at the Management Training Bureau (MTB) in Msasa, Harare this Thursday 9 May 2024.  The workshop covers critical areas of ethics and integrity to effectively capacitate, transform and empower the Integrity Committee who are the ZOU’s watchdog against corruption and related malpractices.

Delegates follow proceeding during the Integrity Committee capacity buidling workshop

Addressing delegates Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Emrson Z. Nyakatawa who was standing in for the Vice Chancellor ZOU, Professor Paul H. Gundani applauded ZOU for making history as the first university in Zimbabwe to establish an Integrity Committee in 2023. Integrity Committees are implemented in compliance with Article 5 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption to which Zimbabwe is a State Party. An organisation’s integrity committee is devised to be part of an organisational structure mandated to spearhead the prevention of corruption, related vices, and maladministration. The Integrity Committee concept adopts a proactive rather than a reactive approach in dealing with corruption occurring within an organisation. This is achieved by mainstreaming corruption prevention into the routine business of the organisation. The Acting Vice Chancellor expressed his delight and commitment to the fight against corruption and malpractices in the institution.

ZOU Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Ermson Z. Nyakatawa addresses delegates during the Integrity Workshop at the Management Training Bureau.

“ZOU Integrity Committee is structured to reflect all the staff levels and will be supported appropriately. This demonstrates my commitment to eradicate corruption, related vices, and maladministration and therefore create a corruption-free Zimbabwe Open University. I am delighted that as ZOU Integrity Committee you hit the ground running by embarking on sustained awareness campaigns against corruption to both ZOU staff and students. On Friday 3 May 2024, you held a successful workshop with the title, Corruption and Related Malpractices in Higher Education Institutions: The Case of Zimbabwe Open University’. I have since received a detailed report from Professor Njaya, the current Chairperson of the ZOU Integrity Committee. I am happy that the workshop identified incidences of corruption within our university, consequences emanating therefrom, and proffered sound recommendations. Let me assure you that corrective action will be taken.” He said.

Professor Tabona Shoko, a facilitator from the University of Zimbabwe unpacks the role and purpose of the Integrity Committee to the delegates

Professor Tabona Shoko, a facilitator from the University of Zimbabwe spoke enthusiastically on Professional Ethics and Integrity. He unpacked the role and purpose of the Integrity Committee.  He also unpacked ethical principles which include among others, the concern for others, social responsibility, sexual harassment, and gender-based violence.

Mr. Garikai Mbanda, a facilitator from the ZINARA shares his experiences with the delegates during the  Integrity Committee  workshop

Another facilitator, Mr Garikai Mbanda shared his experience at ZINARA as part of the Integrity Committee. He stressed leading by power of example as one of the best foot forward as there are unseen forces who seek to discredit your standing in the society.

The ZOU Integrity Committee Chairperson, Professor Tavonga Njaya and Integrity Committee Secretariat Ms Zuwai Shumba follow proceedings during the capacity buiding workshop at the Management Training Bureau in Msasa

The ZOU Integrity Committee is chaired by Professor Tavonga Njaya who is deputised by Dr T. Zinyama, Regional Director, Mashonaland East.

Left: Ms Cordilia Harunangoni, Ms Memory Lemani, Ms Susan Sakwe and Deputy Chairperson, Integrity Committee Dr. Thabitha Zinyama follow proceeding during the capacity buiding workshop.

Section 255 of the Country’s Constitution empowers the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to take the lead in the fight against corruption in both public and private institutions. Zimbabwe is currently implementing the National Anti-Corruption Strategy that was launched by His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa on 11 July 2020.