Judge slams economic criminals

HIGH Court judge Justice Thompson Mabhikwa has urged government to capacitate the Judiciary to enable it to deal with perpetrators of economic crimes.

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

Officially opening the 2019 legal year for the High Court Gweru Circuit on Monday, Justice Mabhikwa said economic criminals use the law of the jungle, which they exploit at the expense of the majority.

“In fact, those involved in these crimes create a jungle situation deliberately,” he said.

“Using jungle laws like lions and hyenas, they create chaos in the economy, knowing that they are masters in exploiting that chaos. We are human beings,
we cannot allow a situation where a few corrupt individuals overrun us over and over again while we stand bemused like a group of impalas, zebras and antelopes after a hyena attack.”

He said perpetrators of corruption exploited technology.

Justice Mabhikwa said institutions in the justice delivery system should be capacitated and revamped to adequately fight corruption.

The High Court judge said those who investigate people suspected of corruption should not bring half-baked cases to courts, while urging police and court officials to work together.

“Perhaps, like other jurisdictions, it is time our police investigators and prosecutors worked closely right from the investigation stage,” he said.

“They should gather the evidence diligently, prefer the correct charge and then select their witnesses properly before taking the matter for trial.”
Justice Mabhikwa said prosecution should go beyond merely arresting suspects and taking them to court for remand appearances. He said the Gweru High

Court Circuit would deal with 17 murder cases in the next two weeks.

Justice Mabhikwa lamented the loss of life over petty disagreements.

“The now too common machetes in the makorokoza [artisanal miners] communities is a cause of concern,” he said.

“The dreaded okapi knife and the culture of resorting to violence to solve disputes is very worrying. Needless to say, quite a number of the 17 murders can be classified as crimes of passion, some in senseless fits of jealous rage.”

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