Special anti-graft court No. 5 opened
Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
JUSTICE, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi on Friday commissioned the fifth specialised anti-corruption court in the Midlands province, saying his ministry is fully embracing President Mnangagwa’s clarion call for a corruption-free Zimbabwe.
Addressing members of the legal fraternity, service chiefs and members of the public gathered for the commissioning of the court at Gweru Magistrates’ Courts, Minister Ziyambi said corruption was hitting the poor the most since they cannot pay bribes.
“May I reiterate that corruption hits the poor the hardest because they are the most in need of goods and services yet they cannot pay bribes. It hinders development. Public resources are diverted to the pockets of corrupt individuals instead of being channelled towards needed investments in transport, energy, health and education, to mention but a few. Undeserving people get their way simply because they can pay their way through. This should not be,” said Minister Ziyambi.
The minister said as pointed out by President Mnangagwa, Government will do all in its power to ensure that all those accused of corruption are brought to account where there is evidence but will not interfere with the decisions of the courts.
He said the call to fight corruption should be made by every Zimbabwean as corruption exists in all facets of life, whether public or private.
Minister Ziyambi said what is certain is that corruption in its various forms ranging from extortion, bribery and embezzlement to criminal abuse of power and office jeopardises public trust in institutions meant to serve society.
He said a vision of a better Zimbabwe will remain a pipe dream if corruption is allowed to run amok in the country.
The minister said with new brooms, there is an expectation that the Zimbabwe Anti- Corruption Commission (ZACC) will champion the fight against corruption to its logical conclusion.
“Allow me to publicly implore the judiciary to play its part in the fight against corruption by adjudicating matters without delay, without fear or favour. The courts must not be perceived as a stumbling block to the trial of those accused of corruption. They must never be seen to be abetting corruption by unnecessarily delaying the adjudication process. Justice must take its course,” he said.
Minister Ziyambi commended the initiative to open specialised anti-corruption courts in each of the country’s 10 provinces that is being spearheaded by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) saying the commission has not only concentrated on providing facilities which resonate with modern trends, but has also ensured that judicial officers are adequately trained and are equipped with the requisite specialist skills to deal with corruption-related matters.
“The launch of this court is therefore a notable milestone. It brings the project to the halfway mark in terms of coverage of provinces. Such courts have been opened in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Masvingo,” he said.
Also in attendance during the court’s commissioning were the head of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit Mr Tabani Mpofu, Prosecutor-General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi and JSC secretary Mr Walter Chikwanha.