‘Powerful cartels have captured every sector’
POWERFUL cartels have captured every sector of society causing untold suffering to ordinary citizens, Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi has said.
Speaking at an anti-corruption capacity building workshop yesterday, Hodzi said so sophisticated are the cartels that they have captured Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, (Zacc) an institution founded by President Emmerson Mnangagwa with the sole mandate of fighting graft.
He said the public misconception was that cartels only exist in political circles when in reality they have penetrated key institutions with some having direct access to some of the top offices in the country.
“Most sections of our public institutions are in the hands of cartels. We have sections of prosecutors, the Judiciary, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Zacc, who are all under the control of cartels.
“Criminals have direct access to every high office in the country, something we thought will never happen … There are organised gangs within the procurement sector.
“If you want us to be apologetic and politically correct, the problem of corruption will persist leading to the country’s collapse … and the biggest and prominent victims of corruption are the citizens,” Hodzi said.
Hodzi added that corruption cartels have become a threat, not only to social order, but to the existence of the country.
He admitted that law enforcement agencies have been blindly fighting the “cancer” without fully understanding its characteristics. Unfortunately, we have been fighting corruption in a very blind manner. It is important to realise that we are in this fight together … It is only through an integrated and holistic approach that we are likely to have a leeway against the cartels,” he said.
He also acknowledged that institutions mandated to fight corruption do not have the necessary expertise to effectively fight the rot but highlighted that they are in the process of empowering personnel with the necessary technical skills.
“We recognise our deficiencies and we are in consultation with a number of jurisdictions to train our officers.
“The Italians have agreed to train some of our officers in the technical areas. A number of commonwealth and EU countries, the Russians have agreed to train some of our officers in those areas where we have deficiencies.”
He assured that all corruption accused individuals will be duly prosecuted.