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Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission

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The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), is a body that has the constitutional mandate to corruption. ZACC is administered under the Office of the President and Cabinet. In the past it was under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

It is one of the two Chapter 13 institutions specifically mandated ‘to combat crime and corruption’. The other one being the National Prosecuting Authority.

Effectiveness

The ZACC has generally been viewed as largely ineffective in fighting corruption mostly because of government and political interference in its work and financial suffocation which have reduced ZACC’s institutional independence.

Political Interference

  • When the ZACC tried to investigate corruption in the mining industry in 2013, some of the Commissioners were promptly arrested by the State.
  • In 2016, after the ZACC started investigation on some parastatals and Harare City Council for fraud and disregard of tender procedures, President Robert Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba announced to the media that ZAAC was impugning Government systems and circumventing ministries and warned it to not act on insufficient information.[1]
  • Being under the Office of the President and Cabinet has been viewed as itself some political influence as there may lack objectivity in investigating their parent ministry.[2]

Criticism

ZACC and its officials have been found accused of corruption on several occasions resulting in the body being described as institutionally corrupt.[2]Some examples:

  • In 2014, it emerged that a Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission investigator, Courage Nyamajiwa, was paid by ZIFA for work that he was doing for the anti-graft body against ZIFA officials. It was reported that this suggested there was undue collusion between the two organisations in handling this issue.[3]
  • In 2013, ZACC chief executive Ngonidzashe Gumbo, was arrested on allegation of defrauding the commission US$435 000. He was accused of making secret profits from a transaction involving a ZACC property. Gumbo was later found guilty and sentenced to an effective 2 years in prison in March 2015.[4]
  • A recent report in The Herald newspaper showed that sometime in 2008, the ZACC Commissioners corruptly received luxury properties in upmarket areas from the ZACC.[2]

Firing Bosses For Fraud in 2016

In July 2016, 3 of 4 ZACC managers were fired for engaging in corrupt activities at the anti-graft body. The managers that were fired are Christopher Chisango, Edwin Mubataripi and Gibson Mangwiro. The three were fired for allegedly engaging in corrupt activities at the anti-graft body while one manager, Sukai Tongogara, has been exonerated of the charges. In April, Ms Tongogara, Chisango, Mubataripi, and Mangwiro were reportedly suspended after being linked to corrupt activities involving former ZACC chief executive Ngonidzashe Gumbo. Gumbo, a former Senior Assistant Commissioner in the Zimbabwe Republic Police, was jailed for two years in 2015 for defrauding the commission of $435,000. He bought offices to be used by the commission in Mt Pleasant, Harare, using Government funds, but registered the property in the name of a company he jointly owned with Chisango, Mubataripi, and Mangwiro.[5]


References

  1. Felex Share, Anti-graft body warned on haste, The Herald, Published:7 June 2016, Retrieved:5 July 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Alex Magaisa, [http://alexmagaisa.com/big-saturday-read-last-dance-sunset-zimbabwes-political-elite-looting-state-citizens-can/ The Big Saturday Read: The last dance before sunset – how Zimbabwe’s political elites are looting the state], Alex Magaisa, Published:24 June 2016, Retrieved:5 July 2016
  3. How did Zifa pay a ZAAC investigator?, The Herald, Published:5 April 2016, Retrieved:5 July 2016
  4. Daniel Nemukuyu, Anti-Corruption Commission boss jailed, The Herald, Published: 3 March 2015, Retrieved:5 July 2016
  5. Freeman Razemba, Anti-corruption bosses fired for fraud, Chronicle, published: July 15 2016, retrieved: July 27, 2016