‘We have been working beyond call of duty’ – says ‘inept’ NPA
The National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe (NPA) which is accused of making few corruption convictions despite being allocated millions of dollars during the last season claims it worked beyond the call of duty, defying Covid-19 threats.
Speaking on the sidelines of the opening of the 2022 Judicial Year on Monday, Prosecutor General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi vowed to address challenges he faced last year.
He thanked the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the police for working together nicely during the course of the yesteryear.
“Thanks to a large extent to cooperation and coordination consultation with our sister agencies, especially Judicial Service Commission and the police, a crack team of prosecutors was put into place,” Hodzi said.
“They have been working above and beyond the ordinary call of duty in terms of ensuring that public order, the maintenance of the rule of law is enhanced and maintained. We have learnt and we are building on the lessons that we learnt during the previous year.
The PG added: “Of course, there were disruptions, challenges in the form of Covid-19 which resulted in the closure of the judicial space courtrooms, the courts, for a period of time at one stage the courts were closed for a period of six months.
“Even then when they closed, the PG’s office never stopped working, constantly refining our strategies and we know very well where our weaknesses and strengths lie.”
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chairperson Loyce Matanda-Moyo recently heaped blame on the NPA for failing to properly prosecute corruption cases.
She blamed the Authority for failing to properly prosecute culprits adding this resulted in a very low conviction rate.
ZACC said it submitted 180 dockets to Hodzi’s office this year alone.
“The commission has surpassed the annual target of 180 dockets submitted to the NPA for prosecution. The commission remains concerned with the speed at which the cases are processed through the criminal justice system,” Matanda-Moyo said in a statement.
“We have been engaging the NPA and Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to implement necessary reforms in order to enhance public confidence in the fight against corruption.”
She added: “The four convictions so far this year arising from our dockets fall far below our expectations given the number of high profile arrests we made during the year.
“We continue to engage the relevant authorities to be granted prosecution powers in order to complement the work of the NPA, without infringing on its constitutional mandate.”
ZACC and other anti-corruption agencies were allocated more than US$33 million last year to fight corruption but they managed to secure a few convictions. Nehanda Radio