The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) welcomes the long-awaited move by the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe to give arresting powers to officials in the employ of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC). This is a very important step that will help to expedite the arresting and prosecution of corrupt people occupying positions at all levels in the country. These important reforms were made through Statutory Instrument 143 of 2019 published in an Extraordinary Government Gazette on the 28th of June 2019. The statutory instrument has amended the description of a "peace officer" to include ZACC officers, which means that ZACC officers can now arrest suspects similar to the to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers.
Mr. David Jamali, the Chairperson of ACT-SA congratulated President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government for walking the talk on these reforms but cautioned that what is now been waited for are results.
"This is undoubtedly a very good step forward. It means that years of ZACC passing the blame to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for not arresting corrupt officials are over. We now want to see results and nothing else. The majority of high profile individuals have been implicated in corruption and we are demanding that they be arrested immediately" he says.
Mr. Jamali also decried threats against corruption whistle-blowers and urged the Government of Zimbabwe to also craft a legislation to protect whistle-blowers who are playing a very important role in exposing corruption.
"ACT-SA has always been clamouring for a law to protect whistle-blowers. Just recently, we have seen how the youth wing of ZANU PF were threatened with legal suits. Several other whistle-blowers are also in great danger. This is not good for the country. Our Parliamentarians and policy-makers should consider working on a legislation to protect these informers as a matter of urgency" he says
Whilst ACT-SA congratulates the Government of Zimbabwe for giving arresting powers to ZACC officials, these officials are urged to carry out their duties and responsibilities without fear or favour. It is hoped that the new ZACC Chairperson, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, and Commissioners who are yet to be appointed work hard to end corruption. This is important since no one in Zimbabwe needs to be convinced on the devastating impact of corruption on economic development. The impact of corruption has been witnessed by all and sundry and the evidence thereof is abundantly clear. Lastly, it is hoped that ZACC will be allowed to carry out its constitutional mandate without any interference whatsoever as was the case previously.
Source: Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-Southern Africa)