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Review court rules, Zacc says

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BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA

THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has demanded a review of court rules to expedite trial of corruption cases.

This followed complaints that some corruption cases involving high-profile people were taking long to be finalised.

This has resulted in people facing corruption charges requesting for removal from remand citing delayed trials.

Zacc spokesperson John Makamure told NewsDay that the commission had resolved that there should be a timeframe set for finalisation of corruption cases at the courts.

“The high-level 31-member Zacc steering committee held its last quarter meeting last month and one of the contentious issues was about prosecution of corruption cases,” Makamure said.

“The committee resolved that the court rules should be reviewed to prioritise prosecution of corruption cases. We want to introduce specific timeframes on prosecution and finalisation of corruption, to say, trial and finalisation of a corruption case should not go beyond a certain period. As we speak, the request is receiving due attention and consideration by the authorities.”

Makamure said most of the corruption cases had been delayed because the suspects were continually submitting applications at the courts in the guise of exercising constitutional rights to deliberately avoid trial.

“Lawyers are submitting frivolous applications before the court just to delay trial in court,” Makamure said.

“Zacc has a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The MoU ensures that the two institutions (Zacc and NPA) work in liaison on cases that would have been submitted by Zacc to facilitate their speedy processing in criminal justice.”

Government set up a special court at the Harare Magistrates’ Court to deal with corruption cases.

Non-governmental organisations that advocate for eradication of graft said political will was lacking for effective implementation of the measures to fight abuse of public funds and ensure that anti-corruption institutions operate to their full potential.

Follow Miriam on Twitter  @FloMangwaya

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