BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
PROSECUTOR-GENERAL Kumbirai Hodzi has beefed up his staff complement and embarked on a drive to take over all high-profile corruption cases assigned to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s special anti-corruption unit.
In a statement on Friday, Hodzi said he would now assign three experienced public prosecutors to specifically deal with graft cases.
“The prosecution of high-profile anti-corruption matters remains a top priority to us and we regard these matters with grave importance. In that regard, I have put in place stringent guidelines and measures to ensure that all high-profile anti-corruption matters are handled with speed and efficiency,” Hodzi said.
“These are handled by a minimum of three highly experienced public prosecutors and of these three, one is a member of the elite specialised anti-corruption unit.”
There have been reports that the specialised unit was receiving orders from the Presidium, through its head Thabani Mpofu, but the recent development, which led to the acquittal of former ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira, exposed Hodzi after the special prosecutors failed to respond to applications.
Mandiwanzira’s case was being handled by two specialised prosecutors, Michael Chakandida and Tapiwa Godzi, when his application for exception was dismissed by deputy chief magistrate Elijah Makomo after the State failed to respond to the application filed at the High Court.
Hodzi then publicly denounced prosecutor Eddie Nyazamba for sleeping on duty, suggesting that there was no co-ordination between the National Prosecuting Authority and the anti-corruption unit.
Several politicians who were arrested during the anti-corruption dragnet have been accusing the specialised prosecution unit of being used by their rivals to persecute them, but Hodzi insisted that he was in control of all prosecutions in Zimbabwe.