ZACC goes after loot stashed in SADC

THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has intensified its efforts to recover ill-gotten wealth from the country being stashed in foreign lands by engaging with SADC members in the fight against corruption.

President Mnangagwa is on record as saying the Government will put stringent measures towards recovering of the illegally externalised funds and assets and declared graft the country’s number one enemy.

In an interview with The Herald, ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said in a bid to recover ill-gotten assets outside the country, ZACC is set to sign Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with Botswana and Zambia to facilitate the process.

“Yes, we are focusing on investigations for purposes of prosecutions and investigations for purposes of asset recovery. As you know, when I was appointed, I made it a point and stressed that the new ZACC will concentrate on asset recovery.

“People should not benefit from the proceeds of crime.

We have also been busy with coming up with agreements with other countries.

“In two weeks’ time, I will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Botswana. I should be signing one again with Zambia soon, so that it will be easier for us to recover assets across the borders and internationally as well,” said Justice Matanda-Moyo.

ZACC, she said, was committed to recovering all wealth acquired illegally.

“So we want to make sure that we recover everything that was stolen from  the nation. So right now we are also concentrating on, apart from the criminal investigations, linking evidence to the properties that were purchased with a view to recovering those properties whether in Zimbabwe or outside,” she said.

Last year, President Mnangagwa named individuals who failed to return nearly US$1 billion they had externalised in the past years.

Justice Matanda-Moyo said investigations are being made to recover externalised funds.

“We are investigating on our own. We have got our own list. Once we do criminal investigations and there is evidence of looting of some funds, we then try to track those funds, wherever they are.

“We are in the process of also signing agreements with international institutions who are going to help us in tracing and tracking those funds so that where know where the funds are then we recover those funds,” she said.

Justice Matanda-Moyo said: “In terms of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, I am glad to say these countries have got an obligation to actually cooperate with member states to recover those funds illicitly siphoned outside the country. “Therefore, it should be easy because it is mandatory for those countries to cooperate with member states,”.