Saturday, 13 March 2021

ZACC DEMANDS 15% OF FORFEITED ASSETS VALUE

 THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has proposed to retain 15% of the value of assets forfeited by criminals to help fund its operations and speed up prosecution of graft cases.

This came out during the inaugural roundtable dialogue for internal auditors, which was attended by representatives of Chapter 12 commissions and other State agencies in Harare yesterday.

Zacc spokesperson John Makamure said the commission had come up with the proposal after running out of funds required to undertake the asset forfeiture drive.

“We are proposing the recovery assets. We have been funded by the Treasury, but it has not been enough to cater for the demands of the full prevention or prosecution of corruption cases,” he said.

“Considering the depth and complexity of corruption issues in Zimbabwe, Treasury funds have not been adequate to expedite bringing culprits to book. Last year, we got $70 million from Treasury and we got an increased funding of $110 million this year, but it has not been enough.”

Makamure also said the commission also needed cash to pay specialists who included auditors and law experts which it contracted to enhance efficiency in fighting corruption.

During the meeting, the commission also pledged to speed up the enactment of the whistleblowers and witness protection law to promote more reports and tip-offs on corruption cases.

Makamure said they had submitted their proposal to the Attorney-General’s Office and they had requested an urgent response to stop continued victimisation of sources by the culprits.

Since the commission was launched, several corruption cases are still pending at the courts, with accused persons, including government ministers have been released on bail at the courts

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Musa Kika said the proposal to retain part of proceeds from the forfeited assets was only applicable on completed cases where the suspects would have been convicted.

Kika said: “That Zacc looks for other means to fund itself is symptomatic of government failure. The proposal to retain 15% of the recovered asset value does not absolve government’s responsibility to fund the institution.” Newsday

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