THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) says it has identified properties worth over US$7 billion which are proceeds of criminal activities stashed outside the country.
In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo said the process of recovering the properties is already underway. She was, however, quick to point out that the recovery process will take time.
“We have identified properties worth over US$7 billion all over the world and the recovery of those properties is another thing, as the process takes time,” Matanda-Moyo said.
She said they were still weighing their options in terms of how to recover the properties, saying hiring lawyers for the process was expensive.
“So, we are trying to engage certain organisations so that they assist us in recovering the properties and take their payment from part of the recovered items,” she said.
The Zacc chairperson said the asset recovery process will include both civil and criminal processes. She added that the Commission approached some regional and European countries for assistance as part of efforts to end graft.
At the end of last month, Zacc announced that it was prioritising investigation of cases and recovering corruptly acquired assets in its quest to curb rampant graft both in the public and private sectors.
To capacitate its officers, the anti-graft body recently organised a training workshop which was conducted by Ugandan Anti-Corruption Court judge Lawrence Gidudu.
The workshop covered current international legal frameworks of combating corruption, investigations and asset recovery among others.
As part of efforts of facilitating recovery of corruptly acquired assets stashed outside the countries, Zacc signed a memorandum of agreement with Zambia’s anti-corruption body.
While a number of high-profile people, including former Cabinet ministers such as former Tourism and Hospitality minister Priscah Mupfumira, have been dragged before the courts to answer to corruption allegations, Zacc has faced criticism from various stakeholders for not doing enough.