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ZACC does not have mandate to prosecute


ZIMBABWE Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Denford Chirindo says his commission does not have the mandate to prosecute as it was a preserve and domain of the National Prosecuting Authority, headed by Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana.


Chirindo was responding to reports that Zacc general manager (legal services division) Sandra Nhau recently said the commission was not independent as it was receiving funding from government.

The Zacc chairperson, however, said Nhau, who was addressing the civil society and Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission conference on promoting and protecting human rights in Zimbabwe held in Mutare,was quoted out of context.

In a statement last week, Chirindo said Zacc was mandated to “combat corruption, theft, misappropriation, abuse of power and other improprieties in the conduct of business in Zimbabwe through prevention, public education (awareness) and deterrence/enforcement in the form of thorough investigations leading to prosecutions and exposure of corruption”.

He added: “(Zacc) is an independent commission as provided for in the Constitution of Zimbabwe to ensure that it discharges its constitutional mandate without fear, favour or prejudice. The public should also note that the independence of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, like other independent commissions, is confined to the four corners of its modus operandi in discharging its constitutional mandate thus no one will tell it how to discharge its mandate.”

Chirindo also said Zacc, like any other independent commissions was not independent from government policies, including the fiscal and monetary policies hence it was funded by Treasury.

“It is therefore important for the public to note that the Constitution of Zimbabwe does not establish independent commissions and leave them to be foreign or externally funded. Any external or foreign funding of an independent commission like the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is subject to government policy unless otherwise provided for by an Act of Parliament,” Chirindo said.

A 2011 government audit report that was recently tabled in Parliament showed that most commissions were grossly underfunded to the extent that they failed to execute their mandate.

Part of the report by the Comptroller and Auditor-General reads: “The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) was unable to carry out its activities because it was not sufficiently funded and in 2009 the commission had a budget of $13 million, but was only allocated $136 400 and subsequently $111 610 was received which constituted 0,6% of the budgeted amount. The commission was also allocated a capital budget of
$5 000 that was never released.”

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