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ZACC officials recover US$29m assets offshore

by Staff reporter
27 Nov 2023 at 17:32hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has recovered externalised assets by corrupt citizens worth US$29 million, a new report submitted to Parliament has revealed.

Experts say the southern African nation has been losing millions of dollars due to illicit financial flows, smuggling of precious commodities and corruption, resulting in the underfunding of critical social services such as health and education.

 The anti-corruption body said it conducted dragnet arrests and referred all the cases of unexplained wealth and civil forfeitures to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The report was compiled by former Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo, who is now the Prosecutor-General (PG).

"The commission conducted several seizures, completed and referred twenty (20) case files for both Unexplained Wealth Orders and Civil Forfeiture to the National Prosecuting Authority valued at US$29 million.

"From the case files referred to the High Court, a total of eleven orders were received and summarised as follows: two (2) Freezing orders, five (5) Unexplained Wealth Orders, three (3) Seizure orders and one (1) Civil Forfeiture Order respectively," Zacc's 2022 annual report reads.

The commission revealed that part of the externalised properties included both moveable and unmovable properties recovered in South Africa.

"Of note were seizure orders for sixty-three (63) heavy duty trucks with twenty-three (23) trailers, seven properties and several vehicles including a Lamborghini and conducted five (5) cases involving extra-territorial investigations, with some resulting in freezing and seizure orders being granted against properties under investigations in South Africa," reads the report.

During the year under review on 20 August, two supercars belonging to President Emmerson Mnangagwa's ally and former Zanu PF Gokwe Nembudziya legislator Mayor Justice Wadyajena were impounded by Beitbridge border authorities and towed back to Harare as part of a wider probe into a US$5 million grand corruption case.

Wadyajena's Lamborghini and BMW X6M were impounded at the border amid speculation that he wanted to take them outside the country as he feared they would be forfeited to the state in the corruption case that was being handled by Zacc.

Two days later, Harare magistrate Barbara Mateko ordered the seizure of 24 vehicles, among them a fleet of trucks and supercars belonging to Wadyajena. Mateko issued a warrant of search and seizure to Zacc in terms of section 49 (b) as read with section 50 (1) (a) of the Criminal Procedure And Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07] that provides for the seizure of all property from proceeds of crime.

The trucks included a Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 6137;  Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 6136; Freightliner (Horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 9244; Freightliner (road tractor) vehicle registration number AEZ AE26255; Freightliner (road tractor) vehicle registration number AEZ 6256; Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 6139; Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 6138; Freightliner (Horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 6116; and a Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 6114.

Other seized trucks included a Freightliner (road tractor) vehicle registration number AEZ 6134; Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 9247; Freightliner (Road Tractor) vehicle registration number AEZ 6254; Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 9245; Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 9246; and a Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 9243.

Also impounded were the Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 6115; Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 6121; a Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 6125; a Freightliner (horse) vehicle registration number AEZ 6126; Freightliner (road tractor) vehicle registration number AEZ 6133; Freightliner (horse) ve hicle registration number AEZ 6134; and a Freightliner (road tractor) vehicle registration number AEZ 6134.

In the latest report, Zacc says the commission's anti-corruption drive is not only motivated by arrests and so it introduced several pro-active initiatives to prevent "expenditure-driven corruption" in public entities and promote accountability in public entities.

"These interventions included evaluation of the implementation of the Auditor-General's recommendations by public entities; programs encouraging public entities to formulate integrity strategies; development of a Prevention of Corruption Toolkit, and the establishment and operationalisation of Integrity Committees. This was done to complement the continuous compliance spot checks, systems and processes review exercises and public awareness," reads part of the Zacc report.

There were also cases of corruption unearthed in government by Zacc.

"For cases relating to public officials in Ministries, most of the complaints received were against public officials within the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement; Ministry of Mines and Mining Development; and the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works. 46% of the complaints were against officials from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development particularly the Lands Department," reads the report.

Source - NewsHawks