ED'S ANTI-GRAFT UNIT STRIPPED OF POWERS newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

ED’S ANTI-GRAFT UNIT STRIPPED OF POWERS newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Anti-Corruption Unit (SACO) has been stripped of its prosecution powers in a move that leaves the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as the sole agency to handle corruption-related cases.

Mnangagwa appointed Sako in May 2018 to strengthen the fight against corruption.

The unit’s terms of reference include cooperation with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), the Republic of Zimbabwe Police and other institutions in the fight against corruption.

The unit was also expected to assist Zacc and other investigative agencies of the state in reviewing and examining lawsuits to prosecute corruption cases referred to the NPA by the investigative agencies.

However, recently appointed Attorney General, Justice Luis Matanda Moyo, said all corruption cases will now be handled by the NPA.

Matanda Moyo made the announcement in a statement in which he called for improving the process of eliminating economic crimes in the country.

Judge Matanda Moyo said in her statement that the Economic Crimes Unit in Harare handled 72 cases and completed 42 cases, a rate of 58.3%.

“There is a need to improve the rate of eliminating economic crimes,” she said. She said that the Anti-Corruption Unit dealt with 40 cases and completed 33. The clearance rate reached 82.5%.

“Let me, while at the Anti-Corruption Unit, also take this opportunity to thank SACO, the special unit in the Office of the President, for the assistance it has provided to the National Prosecuting Authority over the years.

We recently terminated their services and I expect corruption cases will be referred to the National Prosecuting Authority over the years.

“We recently terminated their services and I expect the corruption cases to be prosecuted efficiently by you (NPA officers).

In announcing the creation of Sacco, Mnangagwa’s spokesman, George Charamba, indicated that the unit was not intended to replace or undermine the ZAC Commission, but rather to enhance and complement the commission’s operations.

He said the unit would ensure a well-coordinated and comprehensive approach with all investigative and prosecution elements working in a coordinated manner. Charamba said the establishment of the unit was in line with Mnangagwa’s policy of zero tolerance for corruption. .

In an interview with NewsDay, Attorney-General Virginia Mabhiza, who was the unit’s coordinator, said Sako would remain part of Mnangagwa’s efforts to fight corruption. “It goes beyond criminal prosecution as its main mission is to fight corruption,” she said. She added: “Criminal prosecution was one of their duties and they can continue to investigate corruption cases.

“It is also important to note that the unit also worked in consultation with the prosecutor when cases went to trial.”

Matanda Moyo also announced a raft of changes to the NPA’s governance structure including operational processes to speed up the processing of cases, reduce the case backlog and ensure more effective delivery of justice.

Deputy Public Prosecutors have been redeployed to oversee between 11 and 14 Nelson Motsunziwa centers for monitoring Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Mutare High Court and Asset Recovery.

The other governorates were divided between the three acting deputy public prosecutors.

The new head of inspection and training is formulating a new training curriculum that imposes more stringent performance standards, the NPA said in a statement.

Matanda Moyo, who previously headed Zacc, is the country’s first female prosecutor. She was president of Zacc as of May 2019 and replaced Kumbray Hodzi, who held the position until his resignation on medical grounds last year. Newsday

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