Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo has denied that the anti-graft body has a “catch and release” culture whereby suspected criminals are arrested for show and then released to enjoy their ill-gotten riches.
Matanda-Moyo stated that ZACC’s mandate is to investigate and arrest culprits and then prepare and send dockets to the National Prosecuting Authority.
She said it is imperative for ZACC and the NPA to work together to ensure that corrupt individuals are prosecuted and punished. She said:
ZACC is mandated to investigate and arrest. We prepare dockets and hand over these to the National Prosecuting Authority.
ZACC cannot even follow the courts, whatever happens there we have no obligation to consult and it is the prerogative of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prosecute.
And we need to be acting in unison to successfully fight corruption.
On Monday, economist Professor Gift Mugano said authorities should take corruption as seriously the way they are taking the anti-sanctions drive.
Speaking on one of Star FM’s current affairs programmes, Mugano said the billions of dollars lost through corruption could have been used to bust the sanctions. He said:
We don’t want to package corruption as if it is an excuse because we have sanctions, that will be wrong; that will be tragic and that is my point of departure that when we have agreed that sanctions are a real issue, but I am very concerned as an academic that Government has not taken serious steps to deal with corruption.
Do you think even if sanctions are removed today, we can be given US$3,3 billion by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank? No.
But we could have used the resources to bust sanctions if we were very careful and very proactive in terms of corruption.
It is estimated that on average, Zimbabwe is losing US$1.8 billion annually predominantly due to corruption, smuggling, tax evasion/avoidance, and money laundering practices, among other vices. | Business Weekly