Tuesday, 24 July 2018

NEW PG CRACKS WHIP

NEWLY appointed Acting Prosecutor General (PG) Mr Kumbirai Hodzi has hit the ground running, directing the prosecution of at least five high profile figures on corruption charges, with the cases expected in court soon.

Mr Hodzi, who took oath of office before President Mnangagwa yesterday morning, immediately ordered the prosecution of the suspects, whose dockets had since been completed.
He took up the post in an acting capacity pending an investigation into why Advocate Ray Goba allegedly failed to execute his duties to expectation.

Adv Goba was recently suspended on allegations of failing to prosecute high profile cases, travelling without Cabinet authority, use of abusive language, among other charges.
In an interview, Mr Hodzi said his priority was to effectively prosecute all corruption cases without fear or favour in line with Government’s thrust to create a corruption-free society.

He said all corrupt elements were going to be prosecuted regardless of their status.
“Today, my first directive to the NPA office and all the key stakeholders who answer to me in terms of my constitutional mandate, was to ensure that key corruption cases be formally brought before the court henceforth,” said Mr Hodzi.

“Those that are guilty of corruption will be rigorously prosecuted without fear or favour. Already, I have directed the prosecution of a number of high profile corruption cases and five or so of the accused persons are expected to appear in court soon.”
Mr Hodzi said he will respect the rights of the accused persons during the prosecution.
“I have also directed that rigorous attention be paid to the rights of all accused persons,” he said. “This is a new dispensation. Gone are the days where accused were brought to court in leg irons and at the back of open trucks.

“Gone are the days when accused persons would be over-detained or harassed in any manner. But when it comes to prosecution, I will ensure that those that are guilty of breaking the law are prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

Mr Hodzi said he will carry out his duties impartially and in consultation with key stakeholders.

“I am a professional and have been professional for the past 33 years,” he said. “I intend to carry out my responsibility impartially and professionally, with integrity. I will do so in full consultation with key stakeholders, including the citizenry of Zimbabwe.

“I will work with the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Judicial Service Commission, the Attorney General’s office, to put in place case management rules to ensure cases are prosecuted at the earliest possible time and are completed within reasonable time.”

Mr Hodzi served as Deputy Attorney General since 2012 in charge of the Legal Advice section.
He is an experienced lawyer of 33 years, who has practised law in different capacities, and once served as a magistrate for years.

Mr Hodzi was also a prosecutor and law officer for many years, and was once attached to the Criminal Tribunal. He also practised as a solicitor in the United Kingdom.
Mr Hodzi served as a law lecturer, legal proctor and chairperson of the Legal Advice Clinic.
He holds a law degree from the University of Zimbabwe and a first class Master’s degree in International Public Law (University of Lund, Sweden). He is studying towards a doctorate in International Law.  Herald

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