Special courts for graft cases on cards

Source: Special courts for graft cases on cards | The Herald November 24, 2016

Daniel Nemukuyu: Senior Court Reporter

Zimbabwe will early next year set up special courts to expeditiously deal with corruption, which has curtailed development and contributed to rapid economic decline, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday.Officially opening Mvuma Magistrates’ Court, the Acting President said corruption had reached alarming levels in the country and the special courts were expected to go a long way in expeditiously sending the corrupt to jail.

“I am reliably informed that the stakeholders in the “Against Corruption Together” campaign have drafted a protocol designed to assist them in structuring mechanisms for the establishment of special courts for the management and trial of corruption-related cases. “It will be commissioned soon. Those special courts must be operational in the first half of 2017,” he said.

ACT was launched early this year by six stakeholders in the justice delivery system to weed out graft. The stakeholders are the Judicial Service Commission, Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, Attorney-General’s Office, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the National Prosecuting Authority.

Acting President Mnangagwa said Government was ready to fight graft adding that it was the only way to resuscitate the economy of the country.

“It is only with acceptance of the reality that the scourge of corruption and the willingness to openly tackle it that Zimbabwe stands a better chance of winning the battle against it. Government on its part, is ready to support any initiative to fight corruption. “We, in Government, will never be fatigued in that battle as it is the only way in which the economic recovery of Zimbabwe can be guaranteed,” he said.

He said the construction of the courts by JSC was in line with Government’s economic blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable and Socio-Economic Transformation.

“As Government, we take pride in that these initiatives by the JSC neatly dovetail into and are a direct result of the Government’s ZimAsset economic blue print designed to improve the quality of life of ordinary Zimbabweans in all facets of their existence be it legal, economic, social or political,” he said.

The Acting President said the construction of courts fell into the infrastructure and utilities cluster of the Zim-Asset.

He hailed DANIDA for defying the call by European countries to withhold aid to Zimbabwe.

“I wish to express my gratitude to the people of Denmark for their strong resolve to ignore the general call by other European countries to withhold aid to Zimbabwe.

“You came and partnered the Judicial Service Commission for the benefit of all Zimbabweans without imposing any conditions for you to extend that aid. This partnership is a living example of what true friendship is all about,” said Acting President Mnangagwa.

The new court house in Mvuma was constructed by the JSC in partnership with the Royal Danish Embassy.

The state-of-the-art structure has two courtrooms, magistrates’ offices, prosecution office, a room for the help desk lawyers and holding cells among other facilities. Royal Danish Embassy’s Charge d’ Affaires Mrs Signe Winding Albjerg, hailed the JSC for its good leadership and ability to put aid to good use.

She told the gathering that DANIDA injected $18 million into JSC’s coffers for operations and the construction of 22 court houses in the country at the time the justice system was teetering on the brink of dysfunction due to lack of basic resources. Ms Aljerg said DANIDA made the decision to partner JSC after realising that its leadership was capable and committed to justice reform.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
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    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    Another reprieve for the corrupt – “we can’t act against corruption yet – the ‘special’ courts are not ready.”

    And, after that, those charged will want to apply to the Constitutional Court to determine whether they should face trial in a a ‘special’ corruption court or in a regular criminal court.