November 18, 2019

Court rules delaying graft cases – Zacc

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Leroy Dzenga

The Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (Zacc) continues to be frustrated by the country’s court rules which the anti-graft body says are
delaying the conclusion of corruption cases.

Zacc have been accused of “catch and release” antics by their critics, where arrests are made but court cases take too long to be concluded.

This has eroded public confidence in Zacc who are leading the fight against corruption in Zimbabwe.

“What we do as Zacc is we investigate, prepare a docket and hand it over to the National Prosecuting Authority when the matter gets to trial level. When the case ends in a conviction at the lower courts, people then appeal to higher courts and that is where the problem begins,” Makamure said.

A person who is convicted at a lower court may appeal to a higher court if they feel they can argue for a different outcome. The High Court in Zimbabwe has a backlog of cases which Zacc believes reflects badly on them.

“When corruption cases get to a higher court by way of appeal, they then join a roll where all other cases are awaiting review. The process may take years. We want corruption cases to be expedited the same way election petitions are handled.Election petitions need to be disposed of within six months,” Makamure said.

Zacc has been criticised for lacking the bite but the commission has stepped up the fight against graft, arresting several high profile figures.

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