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SACU Speaks On "Catch And Release", Judiciary Independence

2 years ago
Fri, 04 Jun 2021 11:49:31 GMT
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SACU Speaks On "Catch And Release", Judiciary Independence

The head of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) Mr Tabani Mpofu has said the phrase “catch and release” was invented to discredit President Mnangagwa’s anti-graft fight.

The phrase started after some had observed that out of many people who had been arrested by anti-corruption units, a handful had been convicted.

Those who use it claim that the arrests are meant to hoodwink the public into believing that the government was committed to fighting the deep-rooted corruption in the country.

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Speaking at a recent anti-corruption conference held in Harare, the SACU head who is allegedly President Mnangagwa’s nephew said the release of suspects on bail does not amount to “catch and release”. He said:

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_Insinuating that those who catch are the ones who release is mischievous. The phrase was coined by people who want to discredit the President’s noble anti-graft fight._

_According to the Constitution, every person is innocent until proven guilty. Bail is a right to all those who qualify. Blasting the Government or investigators over the release of suspects on bail is wrong and unfair._

_We may oppose bail as the State, but the Judiciary, which is an independent arm of the State, reviews our arguments and come up with a decision._

_The court may agree or disagree and that is how the criminal justice system operates._

Meanwhile, despite SACU denying that there was some “catch and release” happening, President Mnangagwa previously acknowledged that the practice was actually taking place and called for an immediate end to it. Said the president:

_The culture of long, drawn-out prosecutions and the “catch and release syndrome” must come to an end. The arrest and successful prosecution of corrupt “big and small fish” alike, must be the new normal._

The president had previously defended the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) over the “catch and release” custom saying the issue was with the prosecuting authorities who kept postponing and dragging cases.

SACU head said the unit was under the Prosecutor-General who may direct the Commissioner-General to investigate certain cases.

The case of former Tourism Minister, Priscah Mupfumira, has often been cited as an example of individuals who were caught and released.

More: Pindula News; The Herald



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