Latest News Editor's Choice


News / National

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

by Staff reporter
02 Aug 2021 at 07:31hrs | Views
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 corruption.  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 commission.

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 framework.

"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.

Source - the herald

Get latest news by email: