By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |
HARARE- The Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission (ZACC) says it referred 90 cases to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) since last year but they are yet to be finalised.
Speaking last week on the occasion of the interface between the commission and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo appreciated the government for awarding them arresting powers.
“We appreciate the Government for the powers of arrest as this has enabled our investigations. ZACC refers all completed investigations for prosecution to the National Prosecuting Authority. Once ZACC has investigated the matters and referred them to the NPA for prosecution – that is the end of ZACC functions.
“However, ZACC has taken an interest in how the NPA prosecutes its matters and has been sitting in all prosecution cases to witness such proceedings in court. For the year 2020 the Commission referred ninety (90) cases to the NPA.
“During the year under review twenty six (26) cases were undergoing trial, nineteen (19) were allocated dates and forty-five (45) were still in the set down office. However, our worry is the lack of completion of these trials due to the delays in the court process,” she said.
Courts in Zimbabwe are accused of having a ‘catch and release’ syndrome where politically affiliated persons are arrested and released on bail and go for years without trial. Such cases include but are not limited to former Labour and Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira who was arrested in 2019 on allegations of swindling NSSA out of US$90 000. Almost three years now, she is still out on bail without being tried.
Former Health minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested last year on allegations of awarding a US$60 million tender to a shadowy company, Drax International, to supply Covid-19 materials. A year later, he is still out of custody on bail and yet to face trial.
Matanda-Moyo added that the Commission established an asset recovery unit to conduct financial investigations and recover assets which need to be sponsored well to do its job.
“The importance of capacity building in terms of recruitment and training cannot be emphasised. The Asset Forfeiture and Recovery Unit as well as the Investigations Department need to be sophisticated, well paid and technically sound to conduct thorough investigations, asset tracking and asset recovery thus building a strong asset-recovery component in the fight against corruption.
“It is in that regard that ZACC partnered with national, regional and international bodies to have its officers trained. I am happy to report that such training has begun and is still ongoing,” she said.
Matanda-Moyo said the AFRU has so far seized eight immovable properties equivalent to US$ 2, 070 000, 24 vehicles. Eight (8) civil cases were referred to the NPA for asset forfeiture. One (1) civil confiscation order was granted for immovable property worth USD$100 000. Nehanda Radio