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ZACC boss admits “biggest risk is corruption in fighting corruption”

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC)’s efforts to fight graft is being hindered by corruption rocking the institution, chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo has admitted.

ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo
ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo

Speaking during the International Anti-Corruption Day commemoration in Harare on Wednesday, Matanda-Moyo said more than US$5 million worth of corruptly-acquired property, including 501 vehicles, has been seized by the commission in the past 18 months.

Matanda-Moyo however said corruption at Zacc’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the courts in the country has been slowing down efforts to fight graft.

“If we want to win against corruption, we really have to go all the way so what we are doing right now is that the Judicial Service Commission has actually set up Anti-Corruption Courts throughout the country and we expect the NPA to provide the prosecutors in all those courts.

“However, the biggest risk that we have is corruption itself in fighting corruption. Our institutions are not free from corruption. Be it the Zacc, police, NPA, the judiciary, we are also struggling with corruption and we want to deal with this corruption under those pillars that we have established.

“Corruption matters must be dealt with swiftly. Once there has been an investigation, prosecution must be swift. They must be dealt with within a short period of time because if you give these people time, they will start offering bribes (to investigators and prosecutors) and those cases will die a natural death,” she said.

Despite arresting a number of prominent people, Zacc has been accused of delaying the conclusion of the prosecutions of graft-related cases.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year fired former cabinet minister Prisca Mupfumira after she was arrested by Zacc over accusations of being involved in graft.

Mupfumira is currently on bail and it’s a year now, her case has not been finalised and it is associated with frequent postponements.

In 2018, former Minister of Health and Child Care David Parirenyatwa was arrested on alleged criminal abuse of office charges and the courts are still sitting on his case.

Last month, the trial of former cabinet minister Obadiah Moyo who was arrested in June by Zacc officials over a USD$ 60 million scandal that saw Drax International being awarded a tender without requisite paperwork was moved to next year.

In 2019, Matanda-Moyo, a former High Court judge, was involved in a conflict-of-interest situation, as she faced the challenge of investigating her husband, Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo who was sucked into the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) corruption vortex.

South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper reported that Moyo was the director of a company involved in an irregular transaction with the corruption-hit pensions body.

“I have noted the concern of the general public regarding a matter in the NSSA report that cites Fernhaven and Africom. Let me reiterate that we are seized with all matters in the specific report and like I have said before, no-one is above the law,” Matanda-Moyo tweeted in August 2019.