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By Freeman Razemba
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has launched an Anti-Corruption Unit as part of its efforts to effectively and efficiently investigate all cases of corruption countrywide.
This follows last December’s call by President Mnangagwa for all cases of corruption to be investigated and punished in accordance with the dictates of the law.
Speaking at the launch and commissioning of the unit’s offices at Morris Depot in Harare, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Dr Obert Mpofu said the force will be working together with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and other agencies to curb corruption.
“Corruption is one of the greatest evils of our time. It is a cancer that rewards those who do not play by the rules and also creates a system of distortion and diversion, thereby destroying all efforts aimed at constructive, just and fair governance,” he said.
He said the country continued to lose revenue through unscrupulous dealings, thereby adversely impacting on the well-being of the economy.
Dr Mpofu said he was happy that in his inaugural State of the Nation Address in December last year, President Mnangagwa made it clear that corruption would not be tolerated
Dr Mpofu said Government has embarked on a cocktail of measures that include the launch of specialised anti-corruption courts, and the forfeiture of assets acquired through corrupt means upon conviction of the criminals.
“The courts were established in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, the National Prosecuting Authority, the office of the Attorney General, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.
“This development has also seen selected members of the National Prosecuting Authority undergoing training in handling corruption cases,” he said
He said the decision to come up with the unit in the ZRP was reached after realising the enormous gap between the number of cases brought before the courts and those that were convicted.
Dr Mpofu said this calls for the police to engage a higher gear in the meticulous gathering of the necessary evidence before cases were brought before the courts.
He said cognisant of the high levels of diligence and professionalism required in the investigation of corruption cases, deployed officers must get the necessary training that imbue in them, competences that will enable them to deliver the expected results.
“To all the officers and members seconded to this unit, I am confident that you have been selected because of your honesty, knowledge, expertise as well as the desire and determination to work for the good of this country.
“However, as you set off on this honourable path, you must bear in mind that fighting corruption is not going to be a stroll in the park,” he said.
He said, they must bear in mind that with enhanced crime detection and eradication efforts, crime also tends to evolve and adjust so as to defeat the mechanisms adopted in fighting it.
The event was attended by Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province Miriam Chikukwa, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, Prosecutor General Ray Goba, service chiefs, senior Government and police officers.