The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chairperson Justice Loice Matanda Moyo has warned corrupt elements against harassing witnesses, saying the long arm of the law will catch up with them, while thanking Zimbabweans for their continued support in exposing cases of corruption that needed investigation.
In her end of year statement yesterday, Justice Matanda Moyo noted significant progress regarding the enactment of whistle blower protection legislative framework.
“We received an overwhelming number of reports from the public which followed up with telling results. There is significant progress as far as enactment of robust whistle blower protection legislative framework is concerned.
“This overdue piece of legislation should offer maximum protection to our valuable witnesses and whistle blowers. I would like to issue a strong warning to those bent on harassing and victimising witnesses that the long arm of the law will descend on them without fear or favour,” she said.
Justice Matanda-Moyo revealed that ZACC wants to be given prosecution powers to take cases it is investigating to court in order to speed up the process arguing that speeding up the prosecution of cases will enhance public confidence in the Government`s resolve to fight corruption. She added that investigators were concerned with the slow pace that cases were taken up for prosecution.
“In the area of investigations, the commission has surpassed the annual target of 180 dockets submitted to the National Prosecuting Authority for prosecution. The commission remains concerned with speed at which the cases are processed through the criminal justice system. We have been engaging the National Prosecution Authority and Justice Commission to implement necessary reforms in order to enhance public confidence in fighting corruption. I am pleased to note that we are finding each other in that regard.
“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 NPA, without infringing on its constitutional mandate,” she said.
She revealed that Treasury had allocated ZACC ZW$913 million under the 2022 National Budget, which she said was a significant rise from this year`s ZW$355 million. The funds will see the commission accelerate its decentralisation programme, acquire capital equipment and recruit more staff.
The commission had carried out extensive system checks in most local authorities in order to ramp up the prevention of corruption, culminating in the signing of the implementation matrices with eight local authorities namely Chegutu Municipality, Karoi Town Council, Makonde Rural District Council (RDC), Mudzi RDC, Mutoko RDC, Norton Town Council, Umzingwane RDC and Zaka RDC.
On that note, Justice Matanda-Moyo said signing of the matrices demonstrated the local authorities` acceptance of the compliance spot check findings and recommendations, and affirmed their commitment and obligation to implement the recommendations within the agreed timeframes.