ZACC Confirms Senior CIO Officer Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison For Extortion

5 months agoTue, 04 Jul 2023 08:50:21 GMT
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ZACC Confirms Senior CIO Officer Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison For Extortion

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has announced that a senior officer in the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) has been convicted and sentenced to four years in prison for extortion.

In a statement seen by Pindula News, ZACC said Patrick Badza, the convicted officer, demanded a payment of USD9,900 from a Chinese investor who sought work permits for his workers. Badza threatened to deny the permits if the payment was not made.

The ZACC investigated the matter and arrested Badza, who subsequently faced trial and was found guilty.

The issue of extortion in Zimbabwe remains a persistent problem, as evidenced by recent reports of corruption involving law enforcement officials. In April 2022, three officers from different security agencies were arrested and charged with soliciting a bribe at the Beitbridge border post. The accused individuals, who were part of a joint operation against smuggling and illegal border crossings, allegedly demanded a bribe of R6,500 from a motorist travelling from South Africa. The victim paid the bribe and subsequently reported the incident to a relative who then filed a complaint with the Beitbridge Customs and Excise Regional Manager. The matter was then reported to the police, leading to the arrest of the three officers who were subsequently charged with criminal abuse of office. The magistrate remanded them in custody after the prosecutor successfully opposed bail. 

In 2019, the Zimbabwe Morning Post reported that some retired ministers from the ruling party ZANU-PF, who were employed at the party’s headquarters, had taken over the mandate of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) to promote and facilitate foreign and local investment. According to the publication, investors were directed to the ZANU-PF headquarters to discuss their business interests before going to the ZIA. The report suggested that these ZANU-PF officials were demanding large kickbacks from investors as facilitation fees. This situation raised concerns about the credibility of the ZIA and the country’s investment climate.

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These reports emerged after Zimbabwe lost a billion-dollar investment from Dangote in 2015 due to demands for kickbacks from former first lady Grace Mugabe’s team.

Recently, President Emmerson Mnangagwa acknowledged the presence of and expressed concern about the corruption and bureaucracy that is scaring away investors. He called for an end to the practice of moving investors from office to office and person to person, which often leads to disappointment and frustration. 

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