ZACC, ZHRC pledge more convictions, rights protection President Mnangagwa introduces Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission chairperson Ms Fungayi Jessie Majome to Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga (left) and Kembo Mohandi after her swearing in at State House in Harare yesterday. - Pictures: Justin Mutenda.

Wallace Ruzvidzo-Herald Reporter

THE new chairpersons of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission yesterday pledged to serve diligently in their capacities by securing high conviction rates and ensuring human rights issues are depoliticised from the false narrative pushed by the West.

President Mnangagwa yesterday swore in former prosecutor Mr Michael Reza as the new ZACC chairperson and Ms Fungayi Jessie Majome, a former deputy minister, as the new ZHRC chair.

Both vowed to hit the ground running in the discharge of their duties.

Over the years the President has continued to reiterate his zero tolerance to corruption and infringement of human rights.

In an interview after taking his oath of office at State House yesterday, Mr Reza said he was going to ensure that the anti-graft body not only reached set targets but surpassed them.

President Mnangagwa swears in Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission Chairperson Mr Micheal Reza at State House in Harare yesterday.

He said as he assumed his position, he would ensure there were clear timelines for the achievement of set targets to ensure corruption was decisively dealt with in the country.

“I intend to ensure we will not only achieve the figure that was set by ZACC, but God willing, we will surpass it.

“We are going to ensure that criminals know that crime does not pay. I am going to sit down with my officials whom I have not yet met, plan together and have appropriate timelines,” he said.

Mr Reza said he was going to champion a culture of thoroughness and diligence in the handling of cases, particularly those falling under asset forfeiture and money laundering as he was well versed in the areas.

Public confidence in ZACC would ultimately be increased.

“I am going to make sure that no docket leaves ZACC unless it is complete and all the elements of all the crimes have been attended to. That way, we have a high chance of securing a conviction.

“Once we secure convictions, people will have faith in the organisation and also in the administration of justice, so that is what I intend to do; to ensure that we have quality dockets that go to the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority).

“Fortunately, I was trained in asset forfeiture and money laundering. I went to South Africa, Botswana and Malawi taking training in that aspect and that is something that is dear to my heart,” he said.

All Zimbabweans, said Mr Reza, also had an active role to play in fighting corruption as it was not only Government’s prerogative. 

“It is a no brainer to expect only the Government to fight corruption. Everybody must ensure that they fight for their country. We have issues of corruption and you know what it does to a country.

“I have said this in other conversations; the only persons who can stop corruption are Zimbabweans ourselves. We have the obligation to ensure that we fight corruption. 

“We cannot wait for other people to come from other countries and teach us how to fight corruption. It can be done but like I said before, it is like an Eskimo singing God bless Africa. The music may be sweet but meaningless. 

“We have to do it ourselves as Zimbabweans. We have to shun corruption,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to President Mnangagwa for the appointment saying the completion of dockets would be his top priority.

“I would like to thank His Excellency for appointing me to this position. There will be conversation between ZACC and the National Prosecuting Authority on the need to complete dockets and that is going to be my priority area,” he said.

On her part, Ms Majome said she would ensure that human rights were upheld by all.

She said it was again not only Government’s duty but incumbent upon the general citizenry to ensure human rights were upheld from household level.

“I am looking forward to getting the support of the citizenry as well as of the State because human rights are what keeps us humane.

“They are like the air itself so that is my priority and I am very excited and also grateful for being given this priviledge to be able to serve my country at this level.

“Human rights are linked to happiness. There is never anyone who can be in a totally delirious state of happiness without them. They are an aspiration,” she said.

“We citizens have a duty to respect, promote and fulfil the rights of others so I am hoping that we can build a culture of human rights that makes us remember that they are not an alien concept introduced by our colonisers to us but that they are inherent and have always been with us in our culture and are good for all of us.

“We often forget that the liberation struggle for this country was actually a human rights struggle so it is my hope that we get to a point where we own human rights, fulfil them and enjoy them.”

Ms Majome said there was need to depoliticise human rights issues adding that assertions in some quarters that there were no human rights in Zimbabwe were false and inaccurate. 

“It is important to delink the global politicisation of human rights because they are about the dignity, equality and freedom of everyone. 

“We are going to be objective and investigate honestly and openly, all allegations of human rights abuses,” she said.  

Ms Majome said she would continue to propagate human rights issues as enshrined in the laws of the land.

“The priority areas would be to deepen the culture of human rights in Zimbabwe, anchoring firmly on our Constitution which I believe we should be proud of as it has a Declaration of Rights that is broad and deep, comparing well to the best in the world,” she said.

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