By Stephen Chadenga
JUSTICE minister Ziyambi Ziyambi yesterday commissioned the Anti-Corruption Court for the Midlands province, where he called on judicial institutions and law enforcement agencies to keep abreast of sophisticated criminal activities and stay ahead of criminal syndicates which thrive on graft.
Ziyambi said corruption was the greatest threat to the country’s bid to attain an upper-middle class economy by 2030.
“Criminals, particularly those who thrive on corruption, use sophisticated means to achieve their objectives,” he said.
“It is necessary for us to design strategies which ensure that law enforcement agencies and judicial institutions stay ahead of the criminal syndicates.
“We are working towards achieving a middle-class economy by 2030. The greatest threat to these initiatives would be human created bottlenecks like corruption.”
Ziyambi said besides hindering development, corruption affected the poor most, with public resources diverted to benefit a few corrupt individuals.
“May I once again reiterate that corruption hits the poor the hardest because they are the most in need of goods and services yet they cannot pay bribes,” he said.
“Public resources are diverted to the pockets of corrupt individuals, instead of being channelled towards needed investments in transport, energy, health, education to mention but a
few. Undeserving people get their way simply because they can pay their way through and this should not be.”
Ziyambi said the challenges slowing progress in dealing with corruption cases had been dealt with, adding that trials of such matters would be “apparently in the short-term”.
He said people needed to move away from the perception that corruption only existed in public institutions, as it was also evident in the private sector.
The Justice minister said corruption not only deprived government of revenue meant for the country’s economic development, but also took away the credibility of institutions at all
Midlands is the fifth province to have anti-corruption courts, a project being spearheaded by the Judicial Service Commission to cover all the country’s 10 provinces.