THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has confiscated and ordered the forfeiture of vehicles worth US$160 000 owned by convicted former principal director of State residences in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), Douglas Tapfuma.
Zacc ordered the forfeiture of the vehicles through the Money Laundering Act (Chapter 24:24), Zim Morning Post can report.
This amended legislation was enacted to ensure a more comprehensive legal framework for asset recovery, combating money laundering and regularisation of lifestyle audits of public officials.
In an interview with the Zim Morning Post, Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo said the anti-graft body is on a drive to recover all ill-gotten wealth.
“We are on a drive to recover stolen funds and we will be on the lookout for all properties owned by those accused of corruption,” she said.
Matanda Moyo further said more than US$5 million worth of corruptly-acquired property, including 501 vehicles, have been seized by Zacc in the past 18 months as Zimbabwean authorities intensify efforts to hunt down the proceeds of corruption for eventual seizure.
Tapfuma, a Mnangagwa ally was arrested by Zacc for abuse of office and his matter was duly handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), where he was tried and found guilty.
He was sentenced to four years in prison for wantonly evading tax after importation of eight personal cars under the guise that they were for the Office of the President and Cabinet.
The crime was committed barely a year after Mnangagwa took over from the former president Robert Mugabe and Tapfuma was found to have abused his position and personal relationship with Mnangagwa.
Parirenyatwa Pharmacist loses US$100,000 cash and Mabvazuva stand
In a related incident, a pharmacist Russel Mwenje had his US$100,000 cash and a residential stand in the low density suburb of Mabvazuva forfeited to the State.
He was employed in the pharmaceuticals stores department at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
According to court papers, he failed to declare his interest in a company called Flancon Investments (Pvt) Ltd that supplied the public hospital with pharmaceuticals, He is said to have cashed in more than US$100,000.
The two forfeitures were part of the US$330, 000 and Z$8 million that was also recovered in unpaid customs and excise duties after a joint operation between Zacc and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
“These arrests followed information received from the Auditor General and from the compliance department of Zacc on the abuse of Covid-19 funds. The commission has also seized 27 vehicles and three properties from suspects under investigation,” said Matanda-Moyo in her address to delegates at the International Anti-Corruption Day on Wednesday.
“We understand that the NPA has been on a recruitment drive and we look forward to corruption cases being given top priority next year,” she added.
Meanwhile, in the 2021 National Budget, Government set aside US$3, 6 billion for operations and capital requirements for all the institutions in the fight against corruption with US$317 million allocated to Zacc. – Zim Morning Post