Zacc struggles to recover US$1bn tainted assets

Source: Zacc struggles to recover US$1bn tainted assets –Newsday Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE’S weak extra-territorial judicial systems are hindering the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zaac) from recovering looted funds that are suspected to be stashed in foreign countries, NewsDay has established.

The revelation comes amid reports that the anti-graft body is struggling to reach its target to recover at least US$1 billion worth of tainted assets from proceeds of crime.

 

 

This was revealed during the Financial and Asset Recovery Training workshop held in Harare recently, where prosecutor-general Justice Loyce Matanda-Moyo said the government had already set the ball rolling to ensure that proceeds of corruption hidden outside Zimbabwe are tracked and repatriated.

However, Zacc spokesperson Thandiwe Mlobane said territorial issues had seen the commission only recovering US$136 million worth of assets.

“Some of the assets that are within the US$1 billion are stashed outside the country where we do not have jurisdiction to carry out investigations,” she said.

“However, we engaged the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe (NPAZ) which also engaged its counterparts in the different jurisdictions so that they would carry out investigations on our behalf through what is called mutual legal assistance which is rendered to all the countries that are a party to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.”

 

 

Mlobane said there were, however, other factors that stood in the way of successful corruption investigations.

“Also, in addition (for) some of the assets, it was upon investigations that we realised that they were procured before 2020 when the Anti-Money Laundering Act was enacted,” she said.

“So assets that were procured corruptly before that period are not subject to forfeiture and it turned out that quite a number of those assets were procured before.

 

 

“That is something that made us not realise our goal but we are very happy with that level of achievement of US$136 million, something that we had not yet done previously from 2019 when we set up the unit.”

Mlobane, however, said Zimbabwe had an apt and conducive legal framework to adequately deal with corruption cases despite allegations that there is no co-ordination between the commission and NPAZ.

“In terms of the legal framework, we have the legal framework in place in Zimbabwe, It is there. And if there are any gaps, the gaps are very minimal. The legislative framework itself is very strong,” she said.

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