By Matabeleland North Correspondent
Zimbabwe and Zambia on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will see the two neighbours cooperating in fighting corruption and cross border crimes.
Some of the crimes identified include money laundering, tax evasion and drug trafficking.
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chair Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo signed the MoU with her Zambian counterpart Rosemary Nkonde-Khuzwayo who is acting general manager of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the Zambian border town of Livingstone.
Both countries are signatories to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) which encourages member states to enter into bilateral relations for cooperation of law enforcement agencies.
ZACC hopes to use the MoU to trace and recover proceeds of crime.
“Corruption is a complex and global social phenomenon which permeates across borders and therefore can never be fought in isolation. We need joint efforts at local, regional and international levels to win in the fight against this menace and this MoU will strengthen our skills capacity through sharing expertise and creating easy coordination in the investigation of corruption cases.
“Today we are here to formalise this collaboration in the exchange of information, joint investigations, mutual assistance in the recovery of proceeds of crime and exchange of skilled personnel among other areas,” said Justice Matanda-Moyo.
The Zimbabwean High Court judge said ZACC is interested in investigating some individuals who are suspected to have been involved in money laundering with some assets having been identified in Britain.
ZACC will be working with a UK based company to trace proceeds of crime and repatriate funds and forfeit some assets if investigations prove they were acquired illicitly using stolen money.
Zambia’s Nkonde-Khuzwayo blamed cross border crime on globalisation which she said makes it easier for people involved in illegal activities and corruption to hide their crime proceeds in other countries.
“Challenges in one of the two countries affects the other hence the need to work together to fight the common enemy, corruption through an MoU,” she said.
The MoU will be valid for five years when both countries hope to have gone far enough in attempts to control the prevalence of graft.