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Special corruption team besieged – Nehanda Radio

From Tarisai Machakaire

In May this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa set up a team of lawyers and prosecutors to form the special anti-corruption unit as part of his commitment to address corruption.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa
President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Months later, the unit itself finds wars from many fronts, including judicial challenges of citizens questioning its impartiality.

To date, the only people who have been dragged into court as a result of the efforts of the unit of dismissed ministers and businessmen who did not have the same political views as Mnangagwa.

Former cabinet ministers Walter Mzembi, Walter Chidakwa, Samuel Undenge, Ignatius Chombo and Savior Kasukuwere have now appeared in court and some have pending cases pending.

In one of the cases Chidakwa is charged with the permanent secretary of the civil service, Francis Gudyanga.

This case gave rise to concerns about what appears to be a conflict of interest, because a Harare law firm that defends Chidakwa and Gudyanga has a member that is part of the unit.

Lawyer Sylvester Hashiti told the Daily News on Sunday that it was highly unlawful, unethical and illegal that the same law firm grants defense support to an accused person and a partner of that law practice.

"This is an issue that needs to be addressed," he said.

Legal expert Jeremiah Bamu said that the way the unit worked clearly showed that corruption was allowed as long as one is in power because only dismissed ministers were brought to court.

"The anti-corruption prosecution unit defined by the Constitution is clearly unconstitutional and undermines the independence and role of the national prosecutor and such a unit can not and must not have powers to prosecute.

"Their prosecutions are not public, but are predetermined to please the President's taste buds, and this of course undermines the prescription of a fair trial, since the suspect can not get independent prosecution," he said.

Bamu said that what the president did through this unity was pure political grandeur at the expense of constitutional supremacy.

He said that nothing would be solved by creating unconstitutional units instead of using the existing institutions that were specifically set up to address precisely such matters.

He added that having the unit violated provisions of the constitution to ensure free and fair trials.

"If the president had been sincere, he would not have appointed a minister on November 26, 2017 (David) Parirenyatwa, and this so-called special unit should not have waited until he was no longer a preacher.

"The message that is deliberately portrayed is that corruption is admissible as long as one is minister and only matters if one no longer holds a government function," said Bamu.

Parirenyatwa, former Minister of Health and Childcare, was dragged to court on Thursday and accused of crime abuse.

He was at the helm of the Ministry of Health between 2013 and July this year.

Barely a week after the loss of his work to Obadiah Moyo, the state now launches to his blood and accuses him of harming the $ 30,000 National Pharmaceutical Company of Zimbabwe.

Suspended university chancellor Levi Nyagura of the University of Zimbabwe, who is accused of fraudulently issuing the former first lady Grace Mugabe a PhD, challenges the tasks of the unit by saying that their assignment is not in accordance with the provisions of the law on the behavior of prosecutors and their independence.

Nyagura argued that the special department officials instead of being independent and not taking directions from someone, being in charge of the president, being bound by the law on official secrecy and not being in the service of the national prosecutor, as that is the case should be in the case of prosecutors.

In that case, however, the court ruled differently.

"Prosecutors must be independent and professional, and housing a prosecution unit in the president's office creates a perception of a lack of independence.

"How can prosecutors be independent if they are under the effective control of the president?" Said lawyer Kudzai Kadzere.

"A perception of political bias will naturally come into play when things come to court." Daily news

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