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must stand up to impunity - ZACC should be given be given enough
support to fight corruption
International Zimbabwe (TI Z) the leading global organization in
the fight against corruption is deeply concerned by the recent happenings
as chronicled in the media reports in which the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption
Commission (ZACC) officers are reportedly being victimized for trying
to expose alleged corrupt deals at various government departments
is merit in the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) investigating alleged
corruption within the anti-corruption body, the ZRP should deal
with the individuals implicated and not seek to discredit the legitimacy
of the body. The ZRP should not interfere with ZACC’s mandate
of fighting corruption as recommended in the United Nations Convention
Against Corruption (UNCAC) and articulated in section 108 A of the
of Zimbabwe. Likewise, the ZRP continues to carry out its constitutional
mandate despite numerous allegations of corruption within the police
force. Corrupt individuals must be weeded out of all state institutions
but the institutions must be afforded an opportunity to exercise
their mandate to the legitimate expectation of the society they
serve. This requires that they be unfettered in the execution of
their duties. As such, the ZRP is encouraged to deal with implicated
individuals and not to interfere with the ZACC’s mandate as
an institution in state machinery of law enforcement for the elimination
of corruption in the country.
The ZRP has,
in the past, been accused of bias especially in instances where
investigations involve high ranking government officials. The police
should not selectively investigate issues that involve among other
people, prominent individuals in society. Such actions show high
levels of impartiality and impunity on few public officials. The
police force should be guided by principles of professionalism;
they must be independent and impartial in the discharge of duties
so that their actions are not misinterpreted for protecting a few
individuals in society.
TI Z once again
raises concern over the politicization of the fight against corruption.
Perceptions that there are political agenda’s or expediency
being served by current events as detailed in the press cannot be
overruled. Unfortunately these events discredit and bring to question
not just the legitimacy of the ZACC but also the Police as arresting
officers, the courts as the issuers of the search and arrest warrants.
Together these institutions represent the state’s law enforcement
mandate. This mandate appears to be subverted to other more dominant
interests that have nothing to do with upholding the rule of law
and fighting impunity. The legitimacy of law enforcement agencies
can only be re-established when the impunity of public officials
and political leaders cannot be protected for political expediency.
Whether some officers of ZACC are guilty of corruption is not the
test for its capacity or legitimacy to interrogate the three implicated
Ministers. These are two divorced issues that should be treated
as such. One does not undercut the other. If this was the criteria
it would also discredit the Police’s legitimacy and capacity
to investigate the ZACC because its own officers and office have
similarly been leveled with allegations of corruption on many occasions.
It is the position
of TI Z that more attention must be paid by the current Coalition
government and future government on guaranteeing the independence
of these institutions and releasing them from political subservience
so that they are not used as pawns for political vendettas. No reforms
to the ZACC, Police or Judiciary are possible within the ambit of
heavy–handed political directives muddying the issues. The
legitimate expectation of Zimbabwean citizens is that those agencies
mandated with enforcing and upholding the rule of law should execute
their duties with the full support and cooperation of the Executive
In this instance
if the allegations leveled against the three Ministers have a legitimate
source they must be investigated and if found to be true the law
must take its course. Similarly with regards to the allegations
made against ZACC. Saying “No to Impunity” implies that
there are no “sacred cows” in carrying out investigations;
the probe should go beyond one’s political or social status.
Punitive action should be taken against perpetrators of corruption
not as a political end but to guarantee the freedoms and entitlements
of all Zimbabweans. The Executive and Parliament owe it to the people
of Zimbabwe to enforce and oversee transparent and accountable rules
of Government which also entail respecting Institutions created
by Constitutional Decree such as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.
The Commission like all institutions in Zimbabwe need transparent
support not to be bought off or silence, or intimidated to protect
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