Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Toothless bulldog ZAAC lobbies executive for arresting powers

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) claims it has referred 76 cases, 12 more worth US$5,9 million to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for asset confiscation, while lobbying for arresting powers from the government.

Prisca Mupfumira
Zimbabwe’s then Environment and Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira arrives at the Harare Magistrates Courts on July 26, 2019, as she faces seven corruption charges linked to the disappearance of $94 million from the country’s pension fund when she was welfare minister. – Mupfumira was detained on July 25, 2019 by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and is the first sitting minister of the ruling Zanu-PF party to be arrested for graft under the new administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP)

In a report last weekend, the commission said it was lobbying the government and Parliament to be considered as an Enforcement Authority for Unexplained Wealth Orders under the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act.

“From January 2021, ZACC has referred 76 cases to the National Prosecuting Authority for criminal prosecution. ZACC also referred 12 case files valued at US$5,9m to the National Prosecuting Authority for asset confiscation and unexplained wealth applications.

“The commission is lobbying the government and Parliament to be considered as an Enforcement Authority for Unexplained Wealth Orders under the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act,” said ZACC at the weekend.

ZACC has increasingly been under-fire for its “catch and release syndrome” where the bigwigs are arrested but never tried.

These cases include but not limited to some former cabinet Minister and senior civil servants such as former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo, former Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira and former Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo who have seen more than a year of their cases being before the courts without trial.

Earlier this year, Mupfumira who is jointly charged with former permanent secretary Ngoni Masoka on allegations of corruptly claiming US$90 000 from the National Social Security Authority to purchase personal vehicles, said law enforcement agents should thoroughly investigate cases before arresting suspects, adding the “catch and release” practice adopted by police was aiding corruption.

“The problem on why we are not properly handling corruption is that you hear the issue of catch and release. You hear that people have been arrested because of corruption, but later you hear that they are released.

“The problem is that there are a lot of false allegations that are going on. So, no one will take us seriously and we will score lowly when it comes to the index.

“Human dignity should be considered when there are arrests or allegations. When there is an investigation, there should be a good investigation. Law enforcement agents should be well-trained to separate rumours and reasonable allegations,” Mupfumira said. Nehanda Radio

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