ZACC turns Bulawayo unit into 'charge office'

ZACC turns Bulawayo unit into 'charge office'
Published: 30 May 2018
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) offices in Bulawayo are currently being manned by police officers as lack of resources continue to hamper the operations of the anti-graft body.

This, however according to observers, is likely to erode the confidence of the anti-graft body as they felt the move was tantamount to turning the Zacc offices into a charge office.

This is regardless of the fact that Zacc has previously indicated that its investigations department has 36 officers and out of that, 21 are seconded officers from the police and other stakeholders.

Zacc opened a sub-office in the second largest city last month during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) as it sought to decentralise its operations as well as reaching out to its clients in the Matabeleland region.

The offices are situated at the ZITF pavilion.

Zacc commissioner Farai Chinyani confirmed to Southern News that they were having financial challenges which have seen them failing to deploy human resources to the second largest city.

"Police are manning our Bulawayo office which I think is a challenge also because sometimes people do not trust the police when it comes to reporting such matters," she said.

"We have a shortage of staff and we have since recommended that one person goes the offices."

"The reason why we had to decentralise was because there seemed to be a focus on Harare alone as if corruption only happens in Harare.

"It was also difficult for our clients to report their cases considering the distance," she said.

As part of the decentralisation initiative, Chinyani said, they were in the process of opening offices in Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare where she said they have already been allocated offices by the Public Works ministry.

She, however, said lack of finance allocation by the ministry of Finance has also made it difficult for them to fully execute their duties, including the deployment of personnel on the ground.

"Lack of finance has been hampering our operations and that is why we are at the moment having police manning our Bulawayo offices and that's unfortunate because we have received reports from the clients saying sometimes when they visit our offices they find there will be no one.

"They have also told us that sometimes they just insert the documents under the door if they find no one in attendance.

"We are not really sure how many police officers are manning the offices but I think it should be two although I don't know how they are doing it," Chinyani said.

She said under normal circumstances, seven Zacc officers should be deployed to man the Bulawayo office due to the various demands involved in the quest to end corruption in the country.

The commissioner, however, said since they opened the offices here, there has been an overwhelming response from clients who urgently want their cases attended to.

Contacted for comment, police provincial spokesperson Precious Simango said she was tied up in a meeting.

Zacc last year told the Parliamentary portfolio committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security services that its operations were hamstrung due to inadequate staff spawned by the limited budget from Treasury.

Zacc is one of the five independent Commissions that are critical in various activities aimed at combating corruption, promoting transparency and accountability in public institutions as well as entrenching human rights and democracy.
- dailynews
Tags: ZACC,


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