President extends Zacc commissioner’s probe tenure

President Mnangagwa has extended by a further one month, the tenure of the tribunal set up in 2020 to inquire into corruption allegations against Zimbabwe Anti- Corruption Commission (ZACC) commissioner Frank Muchengwa.

The tribunal is chaired by retired Justice Nicholas Ndou and includes Permanent Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Mrs Virginia Mabiza, Dr Tarisai Mutangi and Ms Tecla Mapota.

In a notice published in the Government Gazette on Friday, President Mnangagwa said: “Whereas section 237(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, provides that a member of an independent Commission may be removed from office only on the ground that the member concerned has been guilty of gross misconduct; and whereas section 187(4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that, the President may, when he considers it advisable, appoint a tribunal consisting of three (3) members to inquire into the matter; and whereas the President issued a Proclamation in Statutory Instrument 228 of 2020, establishing the Tribunal to inquire into the question of removal from office of Commissioner Frank Muchengwa of the Zimbabwe Anti- Corruption Commission; and whereas certain amendments to the period of hearing of the inquiry are necessary: Now, therefore under and by virtue of the powers vested in the President as aforesaid, I do hereby, extend this proclamation by one (1) month after expiry of the succeeding six months extension.”

The tribunal was initially given five months to complete its task with an option for extension of the period. Last September, President Mnangagwa extended the tenure of the tribunal by six months to March 2022.

It was tasked to investigate whether Commissioner Muchengwa interfered with the course of justice during the conduct of his duties; to investigate whether he interfered with investigations, received bribes and passed on confidential information concerning matters that he was investigating and to investigate whether or not he presided over matters in which he had a conflict of interest.

The tribunal was also asked to consider all information submitted by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in order to arrive at an appropriate recommendation to the President and investigate any other matter which the Tribunal may deem appropriate and relevant to the inquiry.

Section 237(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe provides that a member of an independent commission may be removed from office only on the ground that the member concerned has been guilty of gross misconduct.

Commissioner Muchengwa was sworn-in in July 2019 after undergoing public interviews by Parliament’s Standing Rules and Orders Committee.

Upon completion of its mandate, the tribunal will present its recommendations in writing to the President.

ZACC is chaired by Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo and its commissioners include Ms Jessie Majome, Mr John Makamure, Ms Thandiwe Mlobane, Mr Michael Santi, Mr Kuziva Murapa, Mr Gabriel Chaibva and Ms Mabel Hungwe.

Commissioner Muchengwa is a retired Superintendent who served the Zimbabwe Republic Police for 32 years. He once headed the ZRP’s Commercial Crimes Unit. Herald.

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