MUTARE- Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) must be afforded full, complementary powers to investigate, arrest and prosecute cases of graft, a local anti corruption body has said.
Transparency International (TIZ) Zimbabwe director Tafadzwa Chikumbu made these remarks yesterday at a regional Anti Corruption Indaba, stating that such legislative powers were necessary to empower ZACC.
Civic society, stakeholders and citizens at large have expressed concern over the high number of corruption cases dubbed catch and release of high profile public officials.
However, Chikumbu said granting ZACC arresting powers will strengthen the commission’s capacity to tackle corruption at all levels of government.
“Getting arresting powers will obviously ameliorate some of the challenges that the ZACC has been facing in their current efforts to tackle corruption.
Mutasa South, Member of Parliament Regai Tsunga speaking on the sidelines of the Indaba, said while granting arresting powers to the commission was progressive prosecuting powers were still needed.
Tsunga said government should consider secondment of ZACC members into the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to ensure a holistic approach to corruption issues.
“Once they arrest on the basis of evidence they should be able to provide that evidence to the NPA or alternatively second officers to the prosecuting authority.
Having investigated, I think they are better placed to present evidence in a competent court of law. If it now becomes second hand information and data it might be diluted somehow, and obviously not convincing,” he said.
Founding TI Z trustee Professor Sikhalazo Dube called on youths to champion the fight against corruption as it affects their immediate and future prospects of development.
“We are in very serious trouble, looking at how corruption has wreaked havoc in our livelihoods in the economy. Young people in particular have work to do, it’s a challenge of your generation,” she said.
Chikumbu said there was serious lack of coordination and collaboration among anti corruption bodies, including the Special Anti Corruption Unit (SACU) set by the President.
Lack of prosecuting and arresting powers has resulted in the huge number of corruption cases, including high profile politicians, dismissed for inconclusive evidence