Poor funding cripples NPA, Parliament told

via Poor funding cripples NPA, Parliament told | The Herald July 22, 2015

GOVERNMENT cannot effectively push for the fight against corruption when the National Prosecution Authority is grossly underfunded, resulting in graft cases taking long to be completed at the courts, Parliament heard yesterday.

Debating on a motion on the state of the economy and need to fight corruption, Bikita West MP Dr Munyaradzi Kereke (Zanu-PF) said the state of the NPA had become fertile ground for prosecutors to become corrupt.

“In China, corruption is fought through stiff penalties on those caught doing it,” he said.

“This is the trend in most economies the world over.

“In Zimbabwe, whilst there is a comprehensive legal framework and multiple institutions to deal with corruption, the corruption menace is fast engulfing the entire country because of the shocking neglect by the country’s Treasury to fund the National Prosecuting Authority.

“As a result, corruption cases take ages to be completed at the courts, whilst the resultant cashless state of the NPA becomes fertile ground for prosecutors to become corrupt.”

He said Government needed, without delay, to create financial room for the NPA.

“The message is clear, it should be no wonder that corruption and embezzlement are ills that have taken root in Zimbabwe. The prosecuting arm of Government is competently paralysed,” he said.

“As a start, the NPA could get its full entitlement from the court retention fund under which it should be allocated 30 percent. The NPA Act CAP 7:20 Section 32 (9) requires that the NPA receives 30 percent of total collections under the court retention fund.”

For the 2015 fiscal year, the NPA presented a bid of $36 950 863, but was awarded $750 000 by Treasury of which only $274 234 was disbursed between January and June.

On capital flight, he said, policies needed to be re-aligned to plug-off the high incidence of the vice.

He said illegitimate exit corridors for capital flight which needed to be closed included smuggling of diamonds and opaque marketing practices, undervaluation of diamonds due to exportation in raw form and platinum group metals being exported in crudely semi-processed forms.

Other causes of capital flight, he said, included gold being smuggled and at some point being sold out of Fidelity Refinery to a Saudi Arabian private jeweller at an incomprehensible discount of 34 percent, yet gold is as good as cash.

Overvalued expatriate management contracts that siphon exorbitant management fees, corrupt overpricing of imported equipment and consumables driven by kickbacks, shipment of commodities and goods without proper valuation and pre-payments by tourists on special package, with funds being kept offshore outside Zimbabwe’s financial system were other causes of capital flight he cited.

Dr Kereke said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe must play its role in plugging off capital flight.

Contributing to the same debate, Buhera West MP Cde Ronald Muderedzwa and Hurungwe South MP Cde Sarah Mahoka blamed the challenges Zimbabwe is facing on illegal sanctions imposed by the West.

Cde Muderedzwa said although economic reforms like the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme affected Zimbabwe’s economy, major factors were attributable to illegal sanctions.


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    “major factors were attributable to illegal sanctions”

    I thought we’d finished with this one? I just love The Herald, a truly imaginative paper! And funny, too.