ZACC targets 99% corruption case conviction rate

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New Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chairperson, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said on Thursday corruption was the main cause of economic challenges Zimbabwe is battling with, and vowed to aggressively tackle the vice head-on.

Addressing her first press conference since appointment over a month
ago, Justice Matanda-Moyo, who effectively started on her new role
last week, said ZACC will target a 99 percent conviction rate for
corruption cases in the courts.

She said corruption was rampant across all sectors of the
economy, be it government, parastatal, private sector and
non-governmental organisations.

ZACC is a Chapter 13 (of the Constitution)institution that has eight
major functions which revolve around combating corruption as well as
encouraging transparency, honesty and financial discipline in both the
public and private sectors.

“Once we join hands in fighting corruption we will win and our
economic challenges will disappear. If ZACC is to deal with every
matter reported, then our prisons should be expanded in order to
accommodate the culprits,” Justice Matanda-Moyo said.

“While other countries are closing their prisons for lack of clients,
Zimbabwe prisons will be open for business.” Justice Matanda-Moyo said ZACC will be pursuing both criminal and civil processes to recover ill-gotten wealth which will be forfeited to the state.

“As ZACC, we are aiming for 99 percent convictions for all matters
taken to court,” she said, adding asset recoveries from corrupt
elements will be a key deliverable during her tenure.

“No one is going to continue to benefit from ill gotten wealth. It
should be known and appreciated in our nation that crime does not
pay.” Government has been criticised for failing to decisively deal with
corruption, which led President Emmerson Mnangagwa to dissolve the
previous ZACC and set up a new one led by Justice Matanda-Moyo. Processes are in progress in Parliament to pave way for the appointment of the full commission.

The new commission has been given extended powers to include that
of arrest of suspects. In the meantime, Justice Matanda-Moyo said since her appointment, the body had received 38 cases of corruption of which 10 involved high profile people.

She said ZACC was putting in place a “sophisticated” investigations
crack team and recommendations had been made on how the team should be
remunerated to ensure it effectively plays its role.
Government was encouraged to strengthen laws and all institutions that
have a role to play in the fight against graft such as the police, tax
authorities and the courts.

To support public efforts in the fight against graft, Justice Matanda-Moyo
said recommendations had also been forwarded to the executive for a
comprehensive whistleblower protection framework.

The ZACC chairperson lauded the recent move to give the body arresting
powers, which she said was necessary in ensuring it played its role
without limitations.

Meanwhile, Justice Matanda-Moyo said ZACC had opened investigations
into government ministries, departments, parastatals that were cited
in the latest Auditor General’s report as failing to account for
public funds.

“In the circumstance and on the basis of the report, ZACC has opened
active investigations in respect of all ministries, government
departments, state enterprises and parastatals implicated in the
report with a view to bringing to book all those implicated in any or
all cases of corruption, theft, misappropriation, abuses of power and
other improper conduct,” she said.

She called on the executive to reduce the powers that ministries have
over state enterprises and parastatals under their purview.
“Ministries that have an oversight role on state enterprises and
parastatals are a cause for concern,” she said.

“The government needs to urgently review the powers of ministries over
state enterprises and parastatals under the purview to stem out this
culture of looting.”
New Ziana

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