ZIMBABWE Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo has refuted claims by Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi that the corruption buster has been captured by cartels.
Hodzi recently alleged in Bulawayo that some sections in the Judiciary, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the National Prosecuting Authority and Zacc had been ensnared by cartels.
But speaking to journalists at the Zacc offices during the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Zacc and Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) in Harare yesterday, Matanda-Moyo vowed that the anti-corruption body would never be captured by cartels.
“My take is that Zacc is not captured, I can only speak for Zacc not for other organisations. I want to believe the Prosecutor-General was misquoted; he wanted to say something else. We can never be captured. We value our independence; we value the trust reposed on us by the public and we can never allow ourselves to be captured.
“I am not worried about them (Hodzi’s statements) because we are not captured. If we were captured, I was going to be worried, but I am not worried about them, because it does not apply to Zacc,” Matanda-Moyo said.
Matanda-Moyo, however, said if Hodzi’s allegations on prosecutors were correct, it was a worrying scenario that would warrant the corruption buster’s immediate intervention.
“It’s actually worrying, but when he (Hodzi) talks about other institutions without evidence from those other institutions.
“I am not worried yet, but of course we want to see those cases being prosecuted and if our prosecutors are indeed captured, it’s a cause for concern.
“We, as Zacc, should need to move in and arrest those prosecutors who have been captured because it’s a form of corruption to allow a person, who is supposed to be independent, who is supposed to serve the nation, to be captured by cartels.
“That is really worrisome and unacceptable in a democracy,” she said.
She said next week they will start arrests of those involved in diverting subsidised roller meal to the black market.
In December last year, the government introduced a subsidy which brought down the price of a 10 kg bag of roller meal to $50. The subsidised roller meal, which was recently increased to $70, continues to find its way onto the black market.
On the recent corruption allegations made by Zanu PF youths against several businessmen, Matanda-Moyo said they were still waiting for them to bring evidence just like they promised last Thursday.
“The Zanu PF youths came here on Thursday last week, but when they came here, they simply said they were going away and will bring further evidence … so we are still waiting for them to bring that evidence and once we have that evidence then we move on,” she said, adding that Zacc was also keen to record statements from the ruling party youths.
“We are still waiting for them to come back. I want to believe that they are still putting in place the evidence and that they will be back soon,” Matanda-Moyo said.
On the over 70 cases involving bigwigs that Zacc said it was working on in November last year, Matanda-Moyo said they will take the cases to court once they get some outstanding complainants’ statements.
“We are changing the style. We want to take persons on summons to court rather than arrest and take them later, since it’s proving to be difficult.
“Once we take matters through remand, persons will then start making applications after applications and those matters are not going before the court, so we have changed strategy.
“We are completing the dockets first and once they are complete, we take those accused persons on summons, since we have found that prosecuting bigwigs is a challenge, so we want to strategise as well and go around that challenge so that we make progress.
“Because, as long as we don’t finish prosecuting those matters, as long as we do not have convictions, then the public will not have confidence in all our institutions,” she said.
Meanwhile, TIZ executive director Muchaneta Mundopa has hailed the memorandum of agreement between Zacc and her organisation as a demonstration of commitment by both organisations in the fight against corruption.
“One institution cannot do it by itself, there is need for a multi-sectoral and holistic approach when it comes to fighting corruption,” Mundopa said.