Arresting is not the only answer
By Jacob Kudzai Mutisi
For the first time in Zimbabwe we have true leadership at the helm of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. A no nonsense hardworking lady. In Shona they say, “anorova basa sebasa”. My warning to those who have broken the law be very afraid. To those who have criticized her, please give her time and measure her failures when she has failed.
The main factor driving growing corruption in Zimbabwe is greed among those vested with power and position regardless of how high or low the posts they hold. The motivation for them to get involved in corruption is property and money, so ZACC should ensure that whatever acquisitions made from income of corrupt and abuse of power means will be frozen and seized by and forfeited to the state, and not just by bringing them, to face justice in court. To ensure the action is more effective, the freezing of properties should be carried out even if the person is just a suspect and the case is still under investigation.
For our legislatures to help judge Matanda-Moyo to achieve a goal, the laws need to change immediately with stern measures where one’s assets are immediately frozen once one is reported to ZACC.
There is now a need to immediately freeze, confiscate and forfeit properties acquired by corrupt practices and abuse of power. This law should be enforced more aggressively to combat corruption in the country. Even those that leave the country should not have access to their loot acquired corruptly.
While the case is under investigation, the properties owned by the individual under investigation could be frozen based on various acts. This is because we do not want them to dispose (of the properties), so it would be difficult for us to detect them, the better we freeze the property, the further this will be felt in corruption industry.
The ZACC Act should allow that the property of a suspect be frozen for up to 90 days with an extension of 12 months more if there are reasonable grounds. If there is a strong criminal case, charges are pressed in court and at the same time the properties should become the subject matter to the charge and if the court decides to forfeit the right, then the properties of the accused should be forfeited.