Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Reporter
JUSTICE, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has defended the position taken by President Mnangagwa to set up a Special Anti-Corruption Unit, saying it was a constitutional and noble move that will see the expeditious prosecution of high-profile graft cases.
Prosecution of such cases is expected to nip the vice in the bud and to boost investor confidence for country’s economic development.
Addressing journalists on the sidelines of the Universal Periodic Review Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Human Rights in Harare yesterday, Minister Ziyambi said the President resolved to set up the special unit after some players proved to be reluctant to fight corruption.
Minister Ziyambi said some high-profile arrests were being made but the prosecution of the cases was far from satisfactory.
“The manifest reluctance by some relevant bodies to tackle corruption cases has spurred the President to set up a Special Anti-Corruption Unit, which contrary to some sections of society is not tainted with any illegality.
“The unit will ensure that we just do not arrest for the sake of arresting. High-profile cases are being taken to court after investigations and arrest but the results are not good enough.
“For those who read the newspaper, there was a story of a former permanent secretary in the Mines Ministry who was arrested for corruption but later on set free,” said Minister Ziyambi.
The minister said the net was closing in on high-profile figures involved in corruption.
“It is business unusual and things will be done differently and expeditiously especially the prosecution of a number of high-profile corruption cases.
“The Judiciary and Parliament have also added their voice to this,” he said.
Minister Ziyambi said the operations of the special unit were above board will not conflict with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
“Section 27 of the NPA Act allows for the engagement under agreement in writing of people with suitable qualifications to perform services for the Authority in specific cases.
“Accordingly, the unit will operate with delegated specific powers which are subject to the Prosecutor- General’s authority and blessings as envisaged in Section 263 of the Constitution, which requires that such delegation must not limit or conflict with the authority’s powers.
“This is in no way a usurpation of the NPA’s mandate as Section 263 of the Constitution clearly stipulates that, ‘an Act of Parliament may confer powers of prosecution on persons other than the National Prosecuting Authority …”
The Judiciary and other stakeholders have also weighed in with some strategies to eradicate the scourge.
“In an effort to effectuate this policy, the Judicial Service Commission set up Specialised Anti-Corruption Courts while the Zimbabwe Republic Police set up a specialised anti-corruption investigation unit dedicated to investigating corruption complaints,” he said.
The Special Anti-Corruption Unit, Minister Ziyambi said, will collaborate with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the police in the perusal and consideration of corruption dockets.
“This is to ensure that the trend of making vain arrests is curtailed and matters are brought to finality,” he said.