By Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S public prosecutors face the daily disgrace of hiking for public transport or simply begging for lifts from crime suspects, Prosecutor General Kumbirayi Hodzi has said.
Hodzi said this was a shame which opens up the critical court actors to all kinds of interference and ridicule.
He pleaded with government to improve conditions of service for his staff.
“Prosecutors cannot continue to come to work using public transport or lifts from accused persons,” Hodzi said during the official opening of the Anti-Corruption Court in Mutare Friday.
“That is a crying shame which opens up prosecutors to all kinds of interference, ridicule and loss of esteem and dignity befitting their esteemed office.”
He added that prosecutors, like all other relevant actors in the justice delivery system, must be well remunerated so that they are focused on their job.
“They are the custodians of the system that we depend upon to stamp out corruption. They must have proper tools of the trade, from computers, the internet, furnished offices as well as clean and safe environment to work from.
“Vehicle and housing loans are also on the agenda. These measures will be put in place to ring fence Prosecutors and protect the profession and also thwart corruption within justice delivery sector,” said Hodzi.
He, however, said they do not condone acts of corruption within their rank and file because employees were poorly remunerated.
“We will act against those that are suspected to have committed acts of corruption and we will not spare anyone. No one is above the law.
“Corruption is a cancer that should be nipped in the bud and it must be stamped out wherever it takes root,” said Hodzi.
By stamping out corruption, Hodzi said, this can contribute effectively towards improving the quality of justice delivery sector`s performance and integrity.
“We need to deliver quickly on these reforms to restore public confidence in our justice delivery sector,” said Hodzi.
He also said courts alone will not win the fight against corruption, adding “the most important player in the fight against corruption is nowhere near courtroom but citizens out there”.
“Combating corruption is not simplistic; it is a robust process that involves engaging citizens of this country all level. The citizens are the vanguard that holds the fight against corruption.
“We need to educate the citizens about evils of corruption, and the power that they have, to put an end to corruption,” he said.
The PG went on to say Zimbabwe will be corruption free the day citizens refused to pay bribes for services that should be free from government officers.
“We will have won the fight, the day every citizen decides to live a life of integrity,” said Hodzi.
The PG added that the scourge of corruption is a threat to livelihood as it chokes hopes and aspirations of the nation.
“It chokes our hopes and aspirations as a nation, to the extent that it undermines the peace and security of people.
“Everyone is agreed that corruption in Zimbabwe has reached alarming levels and is affecting service delivery, foreign direct investment, the economic turnaround and social order,” he said.