THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and police officers have been challenged to thoroughly investigate cases before arresting and referring matters to the National Pros- ecuting Authority.
They were also warned against abusing arresting powers.
This was said by ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo during the graduation of the basic investigations training programme in Harare yesterday.
A total of 28 students graduated, while 16 others are expected to do the same two-month training at the commission’s training academy.
Justice Matanda-Moyo said the role bestowed on them in various arms of Government involved in the fight against corruption could not be over- emphasised, particularly at a time when the country was striving to resuscitate the economy.
“We are all cognisant to the fact that corruption imposes major economic, political and social instability in our country,” she said.
“Corruption remains one of the greatest barricades to the resuscitation of a thriving economy in Zimbabwe and hinders the prospects of the attainment of our Vision 2030.
“Corruption knows no boundaries. It is estimated that Zimbabwe loses about US$1,8 billion annually due to corruption, smuggling, tax evasion/ avoidance, money laundering practices, illicit financial flows, externalisation of foreign currency, unlawful and illegit- imate deals and transactions, under- ground foreign-exchange transactions, under declaration of imports and exports among other corrupt conduct.”
Justice Matanda-Moyo said one very important strategy of fighting corruption was being equipped with the necessary skills to fight the vice.
She welcomed the newly recruited officers to Zacc.
Justice Matanda-Moyo said; “You have all come from various back- grounds which include law, tax, audit, forensic science, security, financial intelligence and accounting, among others.
“Accepting to be employed by Zacc is not only a confirmation that you are committed to serving your country, but an endorsement that above everything else you have the passion to fight cor- ruption,” she said.
Justice Matanda-Moyo said cor- ruption was a specialised crime which required special knowledge and chal- lenged officers to execute their duties transparently, professionally, diligently and without fear or favour.
She said it was a known fact that cor- ruption was evolving due to its transnational nature, networks of criminals involved, increased globalisation and technological advancements.
“Criminals do not sleep, they continuously devise new methods of avoiding detection and convictions, consequently making a mockery of our justice delivery system,” said Justice Matanda-Moyo.
“Hence, it is vital that we respond to these situations by continuously enhancing our skills to ensure that we move with the evolving pace of corruption. We need to sharpen our financial investigation techniques and make use of digital forensics for uncovering corruption.”
Justice Matanda-Moyo said Zacc, they promised to execute their mandate without prejudice and to be competent, diligent and committed.
The event was attended by Com- missioner-General Godwin Matanga, Judicial Service Commission secretary Mr Walter Chikwana and other senior Government officials.