Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi on Friday officially commissioned the 5th Anti-Corruption Court in the country at the Gweru Magistrates’ Court as government escalates its fight against corruption.
The initiative, meant to separate the investigation, prosecution and trial of corruption cases from the mainstream court processes, is the 5th in the country after Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo, and Manicaland.
Addressing delegates at the official commissioning, Minister Ziyambi said his Ministry joins the fight against corruption to ensure trust in government and private institutions in order to attract investors.
“The impetus which the fight against corruption has gained can only be a good omen for the nation. I join the bandwagon today in order to add government’s voice to the good work of all institutions charged with the administration of justice in the country.
“As Minister in charge of the administration of justice, I take immense pride in that all these institutions have fully embraced His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe’ clarion call for a corruption-free Zimbabwe, in order for the country to attract increased Direct Foreign Investment,” he said.
Minister Ziyambi said the corruption scourge mostly affects the poor as funds are channeled to individuals’ pockets at the expense of service provision.
“Corruption hits the poor the hardest because they are the most in need of goods and services yet they cannot pay bribes.
“It hinders development. Public resources are diverted to the pockets of corrupt individuals instead of being channeled towards needed investments in transport, energy, health, education to mention a few,” Minister Ziyambi said.
Corruption, as Minister Ziyambi says, cannot be dealt with overnight hence it will be gradual and will slowly gain momentum until the country’s economy is rebuilt.
He dismissed the perception that corruption is only in government and public institutions, saying the private sector is also part and parcel of the problem which negates government of revenue.
“What is certain is that corruption in its various forms ranging from extortion, bribery, embezzlement to criminal abuse of power and office jeopardizes public trust in institutions meant to serve society.
“It deprives government of revenue necessary for the development of the country and takes away the credibility of institutions at all levels,” he said.
He called upon Zimbabweans to come on board in the fight against corruption as government can only take the leading role in fighting the problem.
The anti-corruption courts’ initiative is set to cascade to all ten provinces with Minister Ziyambi warning that the days of investigating officers conniving with corruption accused persons should end.
He also applauded the Zimbabwe Republic Police on its efforts to re-orient its officers adding that the Anti-corruption Commission has just been given new asset to fight against corruption.
Present during the official commissioning was Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Senator Larry Mavhima, Prosecutor General Honourable Kumbirai Hodzi, Senior Judge in Charge of the Labour Court in Gweru Justice Muchawa, Director of the Special Anti-Corruption Court Mr Thabani Mpofu, Judicial Service Commission Secretary Mr Walter Chikwana, Gweru Mayor Josiah Makombe, Traditional Chiefs, Service Chiefs, Gweru Magistrate’s Court officials along several others.