ZACC moves to seize US$6m ill-gotten assets 

Source: ZACC moves to seize US$6m ill-gotten assets | The Herald

Freeman Razemba–Crime Reporter

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) wants to see the corrupt
both jailed and stripped of their ill-gotten gains and so has this year so
far referred 76 cases to the National Prosecuting Authority for criminal
prosecution, while 12 other civil cases are aimed at confiscating nearly
US$6m worth of assets bought with unexplained wealth.

Zimbabweans are now more willing to turn in the corrupt.

The commission has received 88 reports now under investigation via the
recently launched digitalised whistleblower platform and is seeking legal
changes that will offer more protection for whistleblowers and keep their
identity secret.

In a weekend report, ZACC says it has to date received a total of 88
reports via the digitalised whistleblower platform application.

In pursuit of this strategy, the commission is developing a comprehensive
whistleblower and witness protection legislative framework through the
amendment of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act to ensure maximum
protection of witnesses and whistleblowers.

“From January 2021, ZACC has referred 76 cases to the National Prosecuting
Authority for criminal prosecution. ZACC also referred 12 case files
valued at US$5,9m to the National Prosecuting Authority for asset
confiscation and unexplained wealth applications.

“The commission is lobbying Government and Parliament to be considered as
an Enforcement Authority for Unexplained Wealth Orders under the Money
Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act,” said ZACC at the weekend.

The commission was conducting two reviews of systems to plug loopholes for
corruption and fraud in the Ministry of Industry and International Trade
and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.

The commission had also conducted six compliance checks in the procurement
processes of local authorities and parastatals.

The local authorities included Mutoko Rural District Council, Norton Town
Council, Umzingwane RDC and Umguza RDC.

The implementation matrices for the rural district councils were already
in place.

“Going forward, ZACC will be conducting a national baseline survey to
develop a national corruption perception index which is currently at
preparatory stage. The purpose of the survey is to assess the
understanding of the public on corruption, to examine public perception of
corruption in both the public and private sectors and assess the impact of
the current national policies and legislation on anti-corruption.

“The commission is conducting capacity building exercises in specialised
areas on combating corruption. To ensure visibility, the commission is
decentralising its operations to all provinces and so far six  provinces
are covered,” ZACC added.

In September last year, ZACC launched an anti-corruption whistleblowing
platform to make it easier to report any suspected cases of high-level

By then, ZACC had received over 400 reports on suspected corruption,
almost double the number received during the same months in 2019.

This demonstrated improved public confidence in the work of the

Several high profile arrests had been made while asset recovery of
proceeds of corruption was being accelerated.

Whistleblowing is a term used when a person passes on information
concerning corrupt practices such as fraud, bribery and abuse of power.

Speaking during the virtual launch of the application, ZACC chairperson
Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said since 2019, the commission had been facing
challenges, which included the lack of a whistleblower protection

“As much as we want the public to report cases of corruption, we, as the
commission, have to ensure that we provide a platform that ensures the
non-disclosure of the identity of whistleblowers and security of the
information given.

“Zimbabwe is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against
Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating
Corruption and the SADC Protocol Against Corruption, which all speak
towards a corrupt-free world characterised by values of good governance,
respect for human rights, justice, the rule of law, and countering illicit
financial flows and counter-financing of terrorism,” she said.

All the conventions call for the protection of reporting persons and
expect State parties to incorporate into their domestic legal system,
appropriate measures to provide protection against any unjustified
treatment for any person who reports in good faith and on reasonable
grounds to the competent authorities, any facts concerning offences
related to corruption and money laundering.