The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) yesterday announced plans to investigate commercial crimes such as cash hoarding by corporates as it is now capacitated to conduct investigations countrywide. Previously, ZACC was only conducting investigations in the capital and could not open offices outside Harare or recruit staff, owing to lack of financial resources.
ZACC commissioner in charge of investigations Goodson Nguni told journalists that the new Government had shown commitment to weed out corruption.
“We are in the process of setting up a special team to investigate commercial fraud. The team is going to look at major issues where people have been sabotaging the economy, for example there are many companies that are not paying income tax, it is fraud under the Income Tax Act.
“We are now going to go for them,” he said. Nguni commended government for walking the talk on anti-corruption. “The previous Government did not support the anti-corruption commission. The new dispensation has given us proper facilitation.
“They have allowed us to open offices which we were not allowed to do in the previous administration.
“The new dispensation has bought cars, computers, for us and allowed us to recruit qualified auditors and lawyers to help us,” said Nguni.
He added: “The previous Government stifled our operations. There were some individuals whom we were not allowed to arrest.”
President Mnangagwa has promised to crack down on endemic corruption in the country, blamed partly for stalling economic growth and development.
On assumption of office last November, President Mnangagwa issued a moratorium for individuals and corporates that externalised funds to return the money and or assets bought using the loot on a no questions asked basis.
The President proceeded to name over 1 000 corporates and individuals who failed to return externalised funds and said those who disregarded the amnesty, would face prosecution.
Externalisation has been one of the chief causes of the cash shortages that have rocked the economy since 2014.
A 2015 report by a global corruption watchdog, Transparency International, ranked Zimbabwe 150 out of 168 countries in terms of graft.