HomeNewsSacu personnel conflicted: Top cop

Sacu personnel conflicted: Top cop

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BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

POLICE Commissioner Douglas Nyakutsikwa yesterday questioned the role of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (Sacu), which is under the President’s Office, saying it was playing a double role of lawyer representing State prosecutors and lawyer for persons accused of corruption.

Nyakutsikwa demanded answers in a letter that he wrote to the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) seeking clarification on the registration status of Sacu prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga, whom he said was undertaking two roles of legal representative and prosecutor at the same time.

The police commissioner was recently removed from remand on charges of criminal abuse of office by Harare magistrates Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro and Ngoni Nduna after they noted that the matter should be handled by the Supreme Court.

In the letter, Nyakutsikwa said Macharaga was currently practising as a private legal practitioner and as principal for Macharaga Law Chambers.

“Sometime at the inception of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit, the above member was recruited and employed as a public prosecutor. There are a number of grey areas which have been left hazy for which I now seek clarification and guidance particularly that which concerns your office,” Nyakutsikwa said.

“Macharaga has been undertaking prosecutorial work as a public prosecutor. Whether he was issued with an authority to prosecute by the prosecutor general is beyond my knowledge as I haven’t seen any.

“In the case I am facing, he had appeared and prosecuted me and I am facing shocking difficulties that left me wondering what his problem could be. These matters have been removed from remand, thus are not sub judice, hence the confidence of my inquiry.”

He said he had noted that Macharaga represented clients as a full-time lawyer in private practice, yet he was also a public prosecutor.

“My understanding is that bearers of certificates in private practice are not allowed to do any other legal work except for the law firm they are registered under. There is a scenario where he appeared in a criminal court as a private legal practitioner standing in defence of an accused charged with corruption and other criminal matters. This is a situation where you can exercise your minds on the integrity of your member if he remains with that dual function,” Nyakutsikwa further submitted.

He then demanded that Macharaga should relinquish his law practice certificate.

“Your response to my enquiry will settle a legal question to which some members of the unsuspecting public may be suffering in perpetual ignorance or silence,” Nyakutsikwa said.

The LSZ is yet to respond to the issue.

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