Headache for Mnangagwa

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa faces a herculean task in his quest to fight corruption after it emerged last week that graft now pervades the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which must be at the forefront of eliminating the rot.

The alleged corruption within the NPA dominated interviews for the appointment of a new Prosecutor-General (PG), set to replace Ray Goba, who resigned this year after facing a slew of allegations.

Every interviewee bemoaned the level of corruption dogging the justice delivery system, which was mostly attributed to poor remuneration and working conditions.
At least 10 candidates are vying for the job.

These are Jessie Majome, Maphios Cheda, Wendy Rowesai Chingeya, Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, Florence Ziyambi, Misheck Hogwe, Calvin Tichaona Mantsebo, Edios Edmund Marondedza, Noria Mashumba and Kumbirai Hodzi.

First to be interviewed was Cheda, who is a judge based in Namibia.

He told the 11-member interviewing panel led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba that with his experience as a judge for 17 years, he has seen it all in the legal fraternity.

Starting off as a clerk of court, Cheda rose to become a prosecutor and then a magistrate, before subsequently becoming a judge of the High Court.

He, however, said the prosecution department has a corruption tag, adding that there is need for re-orientation of the officers to deal with this scourge.

Cheda was asked to explain the nature of corruption that is currently in the NPA and said since he is resident outside the country, he is relying on reports from the media.

“There are certain prosecutors that take bribes from financially powerful people,” he said, adding that through these bribes, some cases were no longer being brought to finality.

Asked why he intended to come back to Zimbabwe, having spent five years as a judge in Namibia, Cheda said he was driven by patriotism and was taking heed of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call to come and work for the country’s development.

He was, however, asked to explain how he disassociates himself from the fact that his law firm Cheda and Partners closed down on allegations of corruption.

Cheda said he had nothing to do with the law firm, as he had left it in the hands of other people who were involved in the shenanigans, adding that he also wondered why those people were not prosecuted.

He said he had an upper hand and was perfect for the job, because he has worked in two jurisdictions, which gave him the much-needed experience.

Next was Chingeya, who gave a lukewarm presentation, but also hammered on the issue of corruption within the prosecution department.

She said she would use her 26 years’ experience in the legal fraternity to deal with the scourge and restore confidence in the office.

“There are mechanisms that have to be put in place to weed out corruption but I think I can still do more,” she said, also claiming that high-profile cases were suffering stillbirths.

She was also asked to explain her suitability for the job, considering that there were two cases in which her law firm was reported to the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) for improperly handling transactions.

In her response, she argued that she is suitable for the job, adding that she could not respond to one of the letters from LSZ because she had undergone a major medical operation.

Chingeya described the PG’s Office as a poisoned chalice, which however, required zero tolerance on corruption and “somebody who tells someone in a polite way to go and hang”.

Another interviewee, Chinyoka, gave it his all, despite limited experience in the country’s criminal system.

He said because of corruption within the system, there was need for “fresh blood”.

“I have, prior to this interview, written in the public domain on this issue (of corruption). I feel that the National Prosecuting Authority has let down the vision that the Executive enunciated last year,” he said, adding that this was the reason the president had to set up a separate unit to deal with corruption issues.

He said the prosecution was focusing on minor issues, like prosecuting someone for border jumping, or for a $12 000 prejudice, yet there were other serious corruption issues that needed attention.

“Corruption has found its way into the National Prosecuting Authority. We have certain senior people supervising a rotten system, because of relationships that have been created over the years,” he said, adding that because of these relationships, the bosses were not in a position to confront their juniors, while at the same time the juniors know how to manoeuvre through the system.

The interviews conducted by the Judicial Service Commission, came after Goba resigned following his suspension in July this year over a slew of allegations ranging from his alleged failure to prosecute high-profile corruption cases to allegedly using abusive language and leaving the country without Cabinet authority.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa in July this year set up a three-member tribunal led by retired judge November Tafuma Matshiya to investigate Goba’s suitability.

Other members of the tribunal were Takawira Nzombe and Chingeya.

The proceedings were suspended following Goba’s resignation.

His resignation paved way for the appointment of a new substantive PG, a position currently held by Hodzi in an acting capacity.

In terms of the law, the person to be appointed a PG must be qualified to be a judge of the Supreme Court, must be a Zimbabwean above the age of 40, have at least 10 years’ experience and must be fit to hold office as a judge.

The NPA is a body that has the constitutional mandate to combat corruption.

It is one of the two Chapter 13 institutions specifically mandated “to combat crime and corruption”; the other being the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

The NPA is established under section 259 of the 2013 Constitution as a separate, independent and accountable institution responsible for instituting and undertaking criminal prosecutions on behalf of the State, promoting a just and fair system for all persons approaching the courts and protecting the rights of the arrested and detained persons as provided for by the Constitution.

Comments (2)

Karangarisation of Zimbabwe by ED (a clear duplicity of Zezururisation by RGM) is a recipe for disaster for our motherland. Being a Karanga myself and having been a victim of previous dispensation's zezuru monopoly on business and key government positions; I urge the commission to TOTALLY exclude Chinyoka because what ED is doing with us Mberengwa guys is no good for our people. ITS TOO MUCH & probably the uncouth & stupid ones are celebrating these brazen and obvious tribal biases. It wont take us anywhere and its time we Karangas stand-up and protect ourselves; and stop celebrating mediocrity leadership. I still love you all. Musaigwa Save!

Save - 12 November 2018

R.ega vakaranga timbodhlawo ndidzo poritiks dzemuAfrica ukasatamba novokwako unofuma wakudubugwa ukaposhegwa muzhara . Kana mukaranga anefundo kwete mawar credentials ngaati pfee ipapo

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 12 November 2018

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