July 2, 2019

Zim AG report: perpetrators face jail time

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Leroy Dzenga

Zimbabwe’s legal experts say individuals implicated in the misappropriation of funds by the just released Zimbabwe Auditor General’s report are liable for jail time.

Top lawyer and Zimbabwe’s former Deputy Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Obert Gutu says the report can be used to hold those responsible for financial malpractices accountable.

Gutu said the report gives Government power to further investigate and take action where irregularities exist. The government has adopted a zero tolerance to corruption as it puts measures in place to stabilise the economy.

The report revealed erroneous financial statements by some government ministries and local authorities as well as massive corruption at the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.

Public policy lawyer Advocate Thabani Mnyama said the constitution empowers the Auditor General to engage with law enforcement agents on matters of a criminal nature.

“Her duties are within Section 309 of the Zimbabwean constitution. In 2 (c) it is stated that she can order relevant departments to take action in rectifying these highlighted issues, and in terms of admissibility in the court of law it definitely should be,” Advocate Mnyama said.

The Zimbabwean government has promised to give requisite attention to the report.

In an interview with ZTN news Government spokesperson and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana, said the new administration is aware of the concerns raised.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has continuously denounced corruption and has set up a special anti-corruption unit in his office.

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