Pres Mnangagwa lauds anti- corruption drive

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New York (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday reiterated his government’s commitment to tackling corruption, saying the country’s newly re-constituted anti-graft body had even his full personal support.

Speaking to members of the ruling Zanu-PF’s North America branch here, President Mnangagwa said corruption had become deep-rooted in the country, and difficult to fight.

The government re-constituted the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), the country’s main graft fighting agency, early this year and gave it wide-ranging powers, including that of arrest.

It has since hit the road running, arresting an array of top government officials – including a serving cabinet minister – a sharp departure from the norm in the past where well-connected people were often spared.

The cabinet minister in question, fired Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Minister Prisca Mupfumira, was nabbed by Zacc in July on allegations of prejudicing the National Social Security Authority of close to US$100 million.

A stream of other senior government officials soon followed, including from President Mnangagwa’s office, underlining the seriousness and unselecting nature of Zacc’s anti-graft war.

“Corruption had taken root in Zimbabwe, and it had become difficult to fight,” President Mnangagwa said.

“The first thing we did was to dissolve the old Zacc which needed to be investigated itself, and we created a new one. The group (re-constituted Zacc) is a terror to the public, and it has my full support,” he said.

But he said the government was concerned over lack of corruption convictions so far, due to the crafty abilities of defence lawyers who exploited every loophole in the law.

President Mnangagwa said the government will try to close the loopholes, such as trial postponements which most accused sought as a delaying tactic.

“What we haven’t achieved are convictions. We are now looking at how we can gag the (trial) postponements,” he said.

He said all suspected corruption cases, including those cited by the Zanu-PF Youth League recently, will be investigated unsparingly to root out the vice.

New Ziana

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