NPA to expedite graft cases

Source: NPA to expedite graft cases | Sunday Mail (Top Stories)

Sunday Mail Reporter

THE National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will fast-track corruption cases, while arrests and prosecution of high-profile officials will continue, according to Prosecutor-General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi.

In a statement last week, Mr Hodzi said the fact that several high-profile arrests have been made and brought before the courts puts paid to claims there is no political will to go after grand corruption.

As a result of lessons learnt from Uganda, which has a notable record of expeditiously disposing of corruption cases, the NPA had already established a liaison desk and an inter-agency taskforce.

“The inter-agency taskforce is made up of all the key anti-corruption players and is meant to be a platform for knowledge sharing, consultation, coordination and cooperation to improve the quality of investigations and convictions in high-profile anti-corruption cases,” said Mr Hodzi.

“This has resulted in a much higher conviction rate.

“It is, therefore, wrong to accuse the Prosecutor-General or the NPA of impunity or lack of diligence in the prosecution of corruption cases. If anything at all, the Prosecutor-General’s Office, the NPA and its sister law enforcement and allied agencies the police, ZACC (Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission), SACU (Special Anti-Corruption Unit) and Zimra have put together a number of innovative strategies that have seen a strong movement of corruption cases in the courts and a number of convictions.”

The courts are currently seized with several high-profile cases.

Former Midlands Provincial Governor Mr Jason Machaya was convicted for abusing and selling State land.

Although he is serving a custodial sentence, he still has more cases that are pending before the courts.

Mr Douglas Tapfuma, the former director of State Residences, was similarly convicted of corruption offences related to the purchase and import of State vehicles. 

He is presently serving a prison term.

Former Energy Minister Samuel Undenge is also behind bars.

The process of extraditing fugitive former Cabinet Ministers Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Walter Mzembi and Godfrey Gandawa is underway.

Further, after several delays, the trial of former Cabinet Minister Prisca Mupfumira is now proceeding.

Mr Hodzi said: “The trial of Mrs Prisca Mupfumira is proceeding quite well. The case was delayed by the accused person’s lawyers who made numerous applications on the accused person’s behalf in the superior courts. All the applications were dismissed as having no merit or just frivolous and vexatious.”

Other high-profile figures before the courts include former Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo, ex-Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo and former Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa.