HomeLocal NewsFrustrated Zacc changes tack in graft fight

Frustrated Zacc changes tack in graft fight

JULIA NDLELA
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has been facing massive setbacks at the courts in its quest to weed out corruption, forcing the anti-graft body to take the civil route in its anti-corruption fight.

This has seen Zacc opting to educate and engage various stakeholders in a civil manner to prevent corruption.

Zacc has failed to register meaningful convictions at the courts and much blame has been cast on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for failure to convict. Zacc has also been pushing for prosecuting powers.

The anti-graft body, however, is now meeting parastatal boards on a weekly basis to assist them in developing, implementing and monitoring integrity strategies.

Zacc spokesperson John Makamure said the purpose of the meetings was to deliberate on ways to stop corruption.

“In its prevention model, Zacc has been meeting parastatals boards almost weekly to exchange notes and share ideas on how to stop corruption happening in the first place rather than investigate after the money has been stolen,” he said.

“Zacc has developed an integrity strategy model framework that will assist boards to develop, implement and monitor the integrity strategies as well as to operationalise the integrity committees.”

The latest stance comes at a time when the commission is working towards implementing mechanisms that were put in place in 2020 to curb corruption.

Zacc is an independent commission created to combat corruption and crime. It is established in terms of Chapter 13, Part 1 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

In this year’s first quarter, the commission has conducted checks in the municipalities to ensure they implement the recommendations made by the Auditor-General (AG) Mildred Chiri in her report.

“In the first four months of this year, Zacc has conducted four compliance spot-checks in Chegutu Municipality, Hwange, Mutare City Council and Mazowe Rural District Council. The compliance spot-checks are part of Zacc’s deliberate strategy to ensure that the recommendations of the Auditor-General’s Report are implemented,” Makamure said.

“In 2022, the Commission embarked on a provincial anti-corruption awareness campaign in the rural areas following the launch of the anti-corruption awareness campaign in August 2019 and the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) in 2020.”

He said the campaign was meant to educate citizens on what constitutes corruption, its effects on the society and how they can report corruption.

This exercise, Makamure said had so far covered Masvingo and Midlands provinces.

Recently, Zacc blamed Covid-19 lockdowns for failure to prosecute high profile cases, with the body only recovering US$50 million worth of assets.

During the lockdowns, the anti-graft body failed to prosecute high profile cases including some involving former cabinet ministers, resulting in Zacc being accused of a “catch and release” modus operandi.

Since Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo came into office in May 2019, 35 cases have been prosecuted with US$50 million worth of assets recovered to date.

Zimbabwe is losing about US$1,8 billion every year due to illicit financial flaws.

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