Thursday, 21 October 2021

POORLY PAID PROSECUTORS AT RISK, SAYS PG

 THE Prosecutor General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi has said the conditions of service for prosecutors have to be improved effectively fight corruption.

In an interview in Kwekwe on Monday, Mr Hodzi said fighting corruption requires a well remunerated prosecutor.

He said prosecutors must be catered for to ensure that they refuse accepting bribes.

“Well, the remuneration of the prosecutors is what we are seized with at the moment. We need to improve the conditions of service of the prosecutors so that we ring fence them against corruption. We want a situation where a prosecutor will refuse any amount of bribe knowing that he is well remunerated and we are in consultations with the treasury over that,” he said.

He said prosecutors also need decent accommodation so that they don’t fall prey to sophisticated criminals.

“The prosecutors are an important part of the justice delivery system and for it to be top-notch without any mishap, we need to ring fence them by offering them better conditions of service. They need vehicles, they need accommodation and it all comes into shape as we work towards the new prosecution guidelines,” said Mr Hodzi.

In May, it was reported that corruption syndicates comprising police officers, prosecutors and magistrates were reportedly soliciting bribes from suspects before organising acquittals through sloppy investigations and prosecution.

All this started at the police station where suspects were discouraged from engaging lawyers, with rogue officers assuring them of acquittal and seeking bribes that are lower than what a lawyer would charge in any case, without that same degree of certainty of acquittal.

Half-baked investigations were then done before the bribed investigating officer took the case to a prosecutor, who would be part of the syndicate, for vetting.

During the trial, there would be under-prosecution, leaving the magistrate with no option, but to clear the suspect.

The allegations were made at an all-stakeholders’ anti-corruption conference by Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) executive secretary Mr Edward Mapara and backed by Police Assistant Commissioner Joseph Nyabasa.

The conference was organised by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and Transparency International Zimbabwe.

In most cases, Mr Mapara said, the suspects were acquitted, hence corruption continued unabated. Chronicle

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