via Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission gives up on chefs by Obey Manayiti for NewsDay October 25, 2013
ZIMBABWE Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) senior official Sandra Nhau yesterday made stunning remarks that it is highly unlikely that the previous high-level cases investigated by the previous commissioners will yield anything.
Nhau, who is general manager in charge of prosecution and investigation at Zacc, expressed doubt that there would be any referrals to the police of any cases that were being investigated.
Speaking in Mutare at a civil society and Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) conference on promoting and protecting human rights in Zimbabwe, Nhau said the commission was not independent as it was receiving funding from government.
“But what actually transpired, according to my own assessment, it was all about wrong timing. Remember there was one party which was actually hinging on the aspects of empowerment and that was the main issue in which their manifesto was actually based on,” Nhau said.
“So by attacking the aspect of empowerment, I think that is where we erred as a commission. Remember as the anti-corruption commission we need to be very candid on this one.
“We are not totally independent as long as we get something from the State through the National Budget. We cannot claim that we are totally independent and by virtue of that you cannot bite the hand that feeds you.”
Early this year, members of the Anti-Corruption Commission found themselves in trouble after they tried to investigate senior government officials fingered in corruption.
Meanwhile, ZHRC commissioner Dr Joseph Kurebwa said there was need to engage the State security apparatus in order to improve the country’s human rights situation.
Kurebwa said the commission was in the process of engaging the police and prison services and it also wished to engage the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) over the matter.
“We have engaged police and prison services. We hope to engage the CIO so that they appreciate where we are coming from, primarily when there is grave violation of human rights perpetrated by the State and the situation is made worse when there is impunity,” Kurebwa said.
He said the five commissions under the Chapter 12 of the Constitution should work together in the observance of the human rights.
These are Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Zimbabwe Media Commission, the Gender Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.
Zimbabwe has been ranked lowly worldwide on the observance of human rights.
Delegates at the conference challenged the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to ensure that the State apparatus have little interference of the Human Rights Commission.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs deputy minister Fortune Chasi said he would work to ensure that Zacc enjoyed the independence it deserves.
“We are coming through from tough times in the previous government where funds were in short supply. I think the commission will have to continue working hard and as government we should try to make funds available,” he said.
Over the past decade, the State security apparatus has come under fire mainly from the opposition parties and civil society organisations for human rights abuses.