By Staff Reporter
ACTING Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi has warned of judicial action against lawyers “abusing the country’s court system with frivolous challenges” against the legality of a crack prosecution unit established by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Hodzi told journalists Monday that all Mnangagwa did was to show political willingness to push for the prosecution of corruption cases by the unit headed by respected prosecutor Tabani Mpofu was a part of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
“The President only showed political support for the prosecution of corruption and indicated his willingness to help in every manner possible,” said Hodzi.
“He had expressed apprehension at the slow pace of prosecution but the unit was appointed by the Acting Prosecutor General in terms of the law.
“The elite unit reports to the Prosecutor General through the structures of the NPA.”
Critics have argued that the unit is unconstitutional with some lawyers challenging its legality which Hodzi argued was now bordering on impeding of the work of the NPA.
“There is a very small clique of lawyers who for reasons best known to them are using the challenges to the legality of the elite unit as a diversion to slow down the prosecution of suspects and cause unnecessary delays in some of the cases,” said Hodzi.
He added that the NPA would not gold its hands.
“We are handling this issue and henceforth we are going to be treating those challenges as abuse of the judicial system and appropriate judicial take will be taken,” said the Prosecutor General.
Asked what action would be taken, Hodzi retorted:
“The court will be asked to take action in terms of censure because lawyers are officers of the court.
“If any action by a lawyer is deemed unprofessional then the Law Society of Zimbabwe will be asked to intervene and discipline them.”
Mnangagwa has declared a zero tolerance for corruption and established the unit in what critics argued indicated a lack of confidence in the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission as well as then NPA boss Ray Goba who was forced to resign under a cloud last month.