JUSTICE minister Ziyambi Ziyambi on Tuesday accused Western countries of supporting organisations that have been breeding corruption in Zimbabwe in a bid to propagate a negative narrative that President Emmerson Mnangagwa is corrupt.
Speaking at a belated event to commemorate the African Anti-Corruption Day in Harare, Ziyambi said the sanctions imposed by Western countries on Zimbabwe taught the country to be self-reliant.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) event was held under the theme Strategies and Mechanisms for the Transparent Management of COVID-19 Funds.
“In the case of Zimbabwe, the illegal sanctions and other regime change agendas against our country have taught us the need to purposely reduce dependency on contemporary projects under the tutelage of hegemonic Western countries. These entities often promise to improve the economic and governmental conditions of our countries, but they perpetuate conditions that foster an environment of scarcity under which corruption breeds,” Ziyambi said.
“Government is scaling up the roll-out of legal frameworks for the recovery of assets acquired through the proceeds of crime, combating money laundering, and carrying out lifestyle audits of public officials,” he added.
Officials from the European Union and the British embassy said they would respond to the issues raised by Ziyambi today.
Zacc chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said there was need for the review of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act [Chapter 9:22] so that it includes comprehensive corruption offences and protection of whistle-blowers and witnesses.
“There is need to strengthen the legislation and ensure full compliance to the provisions of the African Union Convention for Combating and Preventing Corruption. The lack of adequate whistle-blower and witness protection provisions have gravely affected cases at Zacc as whistle-blowers and witnesses have been victimised, fired and transferred while some are nearly killed for giving information to Zacc. The Acting Prosecutor-General also informed me that he was having problems with witnesses in court as they are frightened to testify,” Matanda-Moyo said.
She said since 2020 the commission was seized with a cumulative figure of nine immovable properties including one property in South Africa and a total of 38 motor vehicles, and a request for mutual legal assistance has been made for further seizure of two properties in South Africa from proceeds of corruption.
“To date, 35 cases filed for asset confiscation and unexplained wealth orders have been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) since 2019 to 2021. Zacc has referred over 300 dockets to the NPA,” she said.
Rwandese ambassador to Zimbabwe James Musoni said: “Several reports have indicated that global corruption is now costing the globe US$1 trillion annually and this has severe effects on the lives of people. This cost is very high and continues to weaken the resilience of our communities.”
African Parliamentarians Network against Corruption Zimbabwe chapter chairperson Temba Mliswa said: “It’s not a secret that corruption has taken over in terms of sanctions that have made us more disciplined to account for our resources. There is no good governance which protects the resources we have, and we are endowed with resources. The deals which are structured favour the investor and not the foreign person. We want transparency and accountability.”Newsday