Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has so far recovered US$100 million worth of assets believed to be the proceeds of corruption and expects the total to exceed US$300 million by year end as it pounces on luxury vehicles and houses in leafy suburbs funded by graft.
Zacc chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said collaborative efforts with the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) should result in the commission exceeding its target of recovering $300 million in assets by end of the year.
In a statement yesterday to commemorate the first anniversary of the current commissioners in office, she said Zacc had reconstituted and strengthened the asset recovery unit, which has since seized from suspected criminals assets worth millions of United States dollars.
“To date, the commission has recovered over US$100 million worth of assets. Thanks to the enactment of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act, 2019 which empowers the seizing of unexplained wealth. Increased collaboration with enforcement authorities of the unexplained wealth orders housed in the NPA and Zimra will see the commission far exceeding its target of recovering $300 million worth of assets by the end of the year.
“Recovery of externalised proceeds of crime has also been given a boost through the establishment of agreements with reputable international partners who specialise in asset tracing and recovery,” said Justice Matanda-Moyo.
“Several investigations are underway to bring many culprits to book. The Commission has set a target of at least 80 dockets to be completed and submitted to the NPA for prosecution by December 31, 2020.”
On legal reform, Justice Matanda-Moyo said Zacc had successfully crafted an Anti-Corruption Commission Lay Bill that has since been submitted to the Attorney General’s Office to be brought before Parliament.
“The Bill encompasses a comprehensive section on whistle blower protection,” which she said would get over one obstacle in the fight against corruption.
“The victimisation and intimidation of whistleblowers will soon be a thing of the past with this piece of legislation coupled with other efforts such as the deployment of a whistleblower app that will make it easier for citizens to report cases online and track their progress,” she said.
Justice Matanda-Moyo said through Zacc’s work, two former Cabinet ministers have so far appeared before the courts for criminal abuse of office as public officers leading to them being relieved of their duties.
The two are Mrs Prisca Mupfumira who was Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and Dr Obadiah Moyo who served as Minister of Health and Child Care.
“Currently, a former minister and a senior Government official are serving jail terms for criminal abuse of office. Many other cases for senior officials in Government ministries, public entities and the private sector are pending before the courts. Several investigations are underway to bring many culprits to book,” she said.
Zacc was committed to weeding out corruption in the country and complement Government’s resolve to achieve an upper middle income economy by 2030 in line with Vision 2030.
The commission was carrying out research in key areas such as public financial management, public procurement, mining sector, health services delivery, fuel sector and maize meal subsidy whose findings would be tabled before Parliament.