The Herald

Zimbabwe losing US$1,8 billion to corruption annually

Acting Prosecutor General Nelson Mutsonziwa

Blessings Chidakwa Herald Reporter

The country has been losing US$1,8 billion annually due to corruption with the Government stepping up its efforts to end graft, Acting Prosecutor General Nelson Mutsonziwa said.

Speaking during an interactive meeting with youths being trained by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) to fight corruption recently, Mr Mutsonziwa vowed to fight corruption until it is finished.

“The world is losing US$3 trillion per annum through corruption, Africa US$150 billion per year and Zimbabwe US$1, 8 billion per annum through corruption,” he said.

“We are told it is going outside Africa, who is receiving it and those people why are they accepting it and failing to return it?”

Mr Mutsonziwa also demystified the issue of bail application and court judgments saying the courts deal with each case separately working with provided facts.

He said when law enforcement agents arrest they have to make a decision on whether a crime has been committed by applying what is called a reasonable suspicion test.

“For cases which come before the courts, we do our best to prosecute. It doesn’t mean that when someone has been acquitted, we were wrong to prosecute. There are tests which are applied during prosecution.

“Were we to decide to put an accused person on remand we also have a test to apply on that person whether there is reasonable suspicion that this person committed the crime. Then the person would be put on remand if that is the case,” he said.

Mr Mutsonziwa said any weight of evidence linking an accused person to an offence constitutes reasonable suspicion and that person can be put on remand.

TIZ lawyer benevolence Taguta said they started the school of integrity to train youths between 18 and 30 years across Zimbabwe in the fight against corruption.

“We train them to go through a course on basic principles of corruption and also try to facilitate their interaction and interface with key institutions that also work on combating corruption in Zimbabwe.

“What we seek to achieve is to try and influence the building or the creation of a corruption-free generation. We believe that it starts even from our youths as they grow into adults in building our nation going forward,” he said.

The youths include advanced-level learners, and community influencers and the majority are in various tertiary institutions.