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ZACC must follow due processes in investigating corruption cases

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has said it is concerned about the public perception that corruption suspects are only arrested as a window dressing measure.  

Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of a national anti-corruption development strategy workshop in Bulawayo on Monday, ZACC Commissioner Thandiwe Mlobani said members of the public have raised concern at the increasing cases of corrupt officials arrested by the commission and later released by the courts.

She said the cases thereafter drag for too long.  

Comm Mlobani however said it was important for members of the public to appreciate that cases involving corruption were very complex and as such might take too long to conclude hence the public perception that arrests are just a window dressing.  

President Mnangagwa has also expressed displeasure at the slow pace in concluding corruption cases. "I am disappointed that corruption cases are not moving.  While we may be experiencing teething challenges, I implore all those who play a role in this mammoth task to remain steadfast, honest and upright in the execution of their duties," he said.

President Mnangagwa said the success in fighting graft impacted on the country's quest to establish a corrupt-free society, accelerates development and speedily improves the quality of life.  

Government has in the past blamed the collapse of corruption cases to poor investigations. It said those involved in investigating corruption cases should be thorough and follow due process to enable the wheels of justice to move faster.  

Government has noted that some corruption cases have collapsed spectacularly because investigators rushed to court without doing a thorough job.  It is a fact that securing convictions and passing sentences will send a very clear message to would be offenders that corruption is not tolerated. We want at this juncture to implore investigators to take seriously concerns raised by Government regarding the process of investigations and arrests.

It is not proper to arrest to investigate but it should be investigations first and then arrests. It is our hope that this week's two-day anti- corruption development strategic workshop which was attended by officers from ZACC, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) police and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services among other stakeholders, came up with strategies to address the shortcomings in fighting corruption.  

The public's wrong perception of ZACC's arrests can only be addressed by successful prosecution of offenders. Several high profile figures that include former cabinet ministers and business executives have been arrested on allegations of corruption and the challenge is to successfully prosecute them.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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