Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo says the commission has recovered property worth over $100 million from looters as efforts intensify to combat graft.
She said ZACC had registered an increase in criminal convictions of late and was working with academics to come up with legal structures to enhance the fight against corruption.
Justice Matanda-Moyo said this in an interview on the sidelines of a signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ZACC and other stakeholders such as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), the Immigration Department and the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), among others.
She said ZACC was only dealing with the forfeiture of properties and money, while the NPA was going to court for confirmation.
“The goods we are holding on to run into hundreds of millions of dollars and right now we are in the process of preparing papers for the recovering of properties in the leafy suburbs. In Borrowdale we are looking at over 10 properties of high value, and we have got so many vehicles now which we have targeted, others are already in our possession,” said Justice Matanda-Moyo.
She said there had been a surge in the number of convictions, but more needed to be done to reform legal instruments.
“In the past, the investigations have not been thorough but if you have followed events recently there are now convictions. Investigations have actually improved. Our laws are not user friendly, so we want these academics to help in the formulation of new laws. We want to bring in academics, we want those universities to help us in formulation of laws,” she said.
“Definitely there is need for legal reforms, even the rules of the courts must change, as you can see right now, we have got anti-corruption courts but only at magistrate level, once you go to the superior courts, corruption matters are not given priority. We also need that to change, we need corruption matters to be handled faster.
“They must be dealt with efficiently and effectively so that we can also be able to recover the loot. If we take too long dealing with corruption matters, then we will not be able to recover anything. By the time we are through with a criminal matter the person would have moved all the funds and we will not be able to recover anything. So we really need those laws to be changed so that it is easier to deal with corruption.”