Government has raised concern over a web of corruption spawned by some lawyers who contaminate the whole chain of the justice delivery system, including judges and magistrates.
This comes as the country is turning the heat on corrupt persons, including top Government officials and also some uncouth lawyers who are set to appear before the country’s courts facing an array of charges.
President Mnangagwa has also raised his concerns over the extent to which corruption is embedded in the country, including in institutions that are supposed to flush out the vice.
And now the Government is looking at the work of some of the country’s law officers who have apparently been aiding and abetting criminal and corruption activities.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana yesterday said lawyers who compromise the justice delivery system are not above the law and will be dealt with appropriately.
“We have a coterie of very corrupt lawyers who buy out our investigating officers, prosecutors, magistrates and judges. They adulterate our whole justice delivery system. They are not above the law they are supposed to uphold. They help derail our anti-corruption fight,” said Mr Mangwana.
The Second Republic has made uprooting corruption one of its key missions, in order to hasten the fight against the vice, the New Dispensation has empowered the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) with arresting powers.
Apart from that, President Mnangagwa has also established a Special Anti-Corruption Unit that is housed in the Office of the President and Cabinet, and is meant to improve efficiency in the fight against all forms of graft and to strengthen the effectiveness of national mechanisms for the prevention of corruption.
The President, in an interview with ZBC last year said although they are some corrupt officials in the justice delivery system, the silver lining is that there are some who are determined to expunge corruption.
“I now realise that corruption is deep rooted, I thought by saying let’s stop corruption those who are corrupt will fear and stop the corruption, it is not like that, it is so rooted that you have to fight it from A to Z. (In) most systems, institutions and structures there is an element of corruption, to fight it you need the police to unearth and investigate, but also within the police there is corruption, the next stage you need prosecution, that is the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) they need to prosecute the cases so once the case has passed the corruption in the police it has to pass the corruption in the NPA, then it must go to the courts and they are also elements of corruption there so the corruption is so deep.
“I am happy that you find people who are against corruption in all these institutions, in the police not everyone is corrupt, in the NPA not everyone is corrupt in the judiciary not everyone is corrupt, so because of that we are gaining traction not as speedily as I had thought, and as you realise there are many cases of corruption in the courts now, some are moving on at reasonable speed, some there is no explanation, they take too long, I am a lawyer I understand the profession, I am not happy, but I must allow the judiciary process to take its course without interference,” said the President.
Several bigwigs including former Cabinet ministers have been arrested since the dawn of the Second Republic.
On Monday, an appeal by former Cabinet minister Samuel Undenge to overturn a 30-month jail term for abuse of office was quashed at the High Court while a former director of State Residences Douglas Tapfuma was jailed for four years on criminal abuse of office as a public officer a fortnight ago.