Anti-corruption body to probe commercial fraud

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.

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