The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has engaged an international organisation to speed up recovery of externalised assets acquired through corrupt ways.
ZACC spokesperson John Makamure did not mention the name of the organisation but said the plan is under the asset recovery unit of the Commission, which is currently seized with 36 domestic applications for the forfeiture of assets worth about US$4,5 million.
He was speaking at the ongoing three-day Zimbabwe Annual Multi-Stakeholder Debt Conference in Bulawayo hosted by the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) in conjunction with Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD).
“We need to recover assets hidden abroad, but as ZACC, we are not fully capacitated to investigate and trace them so we need to work with other organisations abroad.
“Now we are in agreement with an international organisation that specialises in asset recovery and we should be able to recover some assets from abroad acquired through corrupt means.
“Corruption has to be fiercely fought because of its devastating effects on the economy, it worsens public debt and there is a causal relationship between corruption and debt,” Makamure said.
The decision to expand asset recovery came after ZACC was criticised for arresting corrupt people but failing to recover corrupt assets.
He added, “We have asked to be granted some persecution powers which is what is lacking right now for us to fully fight corruption.
“Whistleblowers are not willing to come forward with information for fear of victimisation and we need a law that protects whistleblowers.
“It becomes a problem when people implicated in corruption cases are seen walking freely, there must be a set time to finalise such issues,” said Comm Makamure.
Last year, ZACC arrested former cabinet minister Prisca Mupfumira over corruption. She was jailed for a month and released on bail but until now, her case has not been finished by the county’s courts raising speculation that the country’s judiciary system is captured.
ZACC has been accused of being influenced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to arrest and release people connected to the President.
This year, former Health minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested over allegations of awarding a shadowy company, Drax International a USD 60 million tender to procure Covid-19 materials without requisite paperwork.
He was released through a ZLW 50 000 bail and has never been detained. But an investigative journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono who exposed him was detained for 45 days facing charges of allegations of inciting public violence in connection with 31st July protests.
Observers have since argued that he was being punished for exposing corruption in Mnangagwa’s government. Nehanda Radio