ED slams Zim’s ‘catch and release syndrome’

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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa, has called for tougher action against corruption and the faster conclusion of prosecutions of graft-related cases, the Daily News on Sunday reports.

This comes as Mnangagwa has fired two Cabinet ministers — Prisca Mupfumira and Obadiah Moyo — over accusations of being involved in graft.
Speaking at the Africa Anti-Corruption Day in Harare yesterday, Mnangagwa said members of the criminal justice system needed to improve their investigations and prosecution of corruption cases.

“They must be above reproach and … ensure that all cases of corruption within their rank and file are thoroughly investigated, with corrupt officials punished.
“The culture of long, drawn-out prosecutions and the ‘catch and release syndrome’ must come to an end.
“The arrest and successful prosecution of corrupt ‘big and small fish’ alike must be the new normal,” Mnangagwa said.

He described corruption as one of the continent’s greatest threats, that’s is hampering and reversing economic development, progress and stability.
Mnangagwa also emphasised the need to build strong and robust institutions to ensure that the country’s resources benefited all citizens “rather than line the pockets of a few”.

“Its (corruption’s) negative impact cannot be downplayed. Similarly, the fight against corruption remains a serious and complex challenge.

“Networks of corruption are becoming more and more sophisticated, permeating all sections of our society.
“I note the involvement of the public and private sectors, civil society organisations, trade and industry, media and professional societies, among others, in the development of this anti-corruption strategy.
“I urge us to continue with this unity of purpose, and to rid ourselves of the them and us mentality,” Mnangagwa said further.

“The perception that corruption only occurs in the public sector will only slow us down in fighting corruption in other sectors of our economy.
“I challenge the private sector, civil society, political parties, churches and other socio-economic groups to cultivate integrity and high ethical standards in the execution of their various functions,” he added.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the Evangelical fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) have described Mnangagwa’s anti-corruption crusade as half-hearted.

“We appeal for the government to heighten its demonstration of heroic resistance to greed, corruption, nepotism, violence and all manner of inclinations towards evil.
“We note the effort by the president towards stamping out corruption and curbing abuse of office as seen by taking action against ministers found wanting for one reason or the other.

“We, however, believe this is just a scratch on the surface and more can still be done to root out the endemic corruption,” the EFZ said in a pastoral letter.
It also said they expected to see more repentance in government after Mnangagwa recently called for a national day of prayer.

“We take the commitment to repentance with seriousness and do believe as the declaration for repentance was publicly made both on his behalf and on behalf of the nation, fruits of repentance will be practically realised particularly in our governance structures.
“We also call upon government to create an enabling environment for the peaceful exercise of the citizens’ rights to express themselves as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“We are appalled by the way government is treating health service workers while we are having a spike in Covid-19 infections.
“We urge government to resolve the impasse with nurses,” the clerics said further.  

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