By Staff Reporter
THE Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) has blasted government for alleged lack of genuine interest, commitment and political will to pursue high profile corruption cases to their logical conclusion.
In statement, ACT-SA said cases of graft involving high profile individuals, especially Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) were taking too long to go through the courts under the current Emmerson Mnangagwa led administration.
The anti-graft body has been at the forefront of exposing corruption at Gokwe Town Council, leading to the suspension of Town Secretary Melania Mandeya.
“In 2020, Melania Mandeya and Jokonia Nyoni were arrested in Gokwe but the case appears to have been forgotten,” ACT-SA said.
The organisation noted there were similarities with a case involving legislator Goden Chanda and a local authority councillor who were also arrested months ago for allegedly diverting food aid, but their cases appear to have been swept under the carpet.
“The Gokwe Magistrates’ Court has also neglected trying Councillor Chigaba who was accused of printing fake receipt books and collecting money from the people in Gokwe.
“More than 3 years have long since passed without Chigaba being tried regardless of the presence of a critical mass of witnesses,” the anti-graft body said.
ACT-SA further said the pending cases speak volumes about “lack of preparedness or genuine interest by the Gokwe Magistrates Court, officials under the National Prosecuting Authority in Gokwe as well as the Zimbabwe Republic Police”.
“These institutions appear to be letting down the new dispensation’s efforts to fight corruption,” said the organisation.
It further said the cited Gokwe cases were a reflection of what was happening across the country.
“The above clearly shows the inertia of prosecution of the cases where evidence is available but hoping that people will forget and no trial will ever take place.
“In such instances, evidence is likely to be tampered with or get lost.
“The same will happen to the witnesses who might relocate or die thereby resulting in the miscarriage of the trials leading to the acquittal of the accused persons over time.
“To this end, efforts should be made to investigate why the prosecution of corruption in Gokwe is problematical,” ACT-SA said.