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Thursday, July 18, 2024

ZACC partners international organisations in recovering Zim assets abroad

Story by Cordelia Ngara

The net is closing in on land barons exposed in the Justice Tendai Uchena Report of 2019 with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) confirming that investigations into several high-profile cases are underway.

The Justice Tendai Uchena inquiry into the sale of state land around urban areas in Zimbabwe revealed that the government was prejudiced of nearly US$3 billion as named and unnamed individuals parcelled out land to unsuspecting home-seekers, who also incurred huge losses in unfulfilled service delivery promises.

Most illegal urban settlements have no basic services such as roads, sewer, water, and electricity.

Although some suspected land barons were named in the Justice Uchena report, there were recommendations for comprehensive investigations into 400 of the cases which ZACC has now taken up.

The commission’s Chairperson Justice Loice Matanda Moyo said, “We are working on several high-profile cases in Zimbabwe. We are working on cases involving land barons at the moment from the Justice Tendai Uchena Report there are various land barons who irregularly acquired land. They actually acquired land corruptly, some of them and we have targeted this in ensuring that we recover all land which was corruptly acquired.”

“In some instances, you find that the land was under-valued and that’s also a form of corruption that was happening, for example, a certain company sold land which was over a million USD for a million Zimbabwe dollars, thus prejudicing the government of more than a million USD.

“We are in the process of recovering that amount and we are also targeting bought from corruption proceeds and we have identified a lot of houses which some have been frozen,” she added.

“We are in the process of recovering that amount and we are also targeting bought from corruption proceeds and we have identified a lot of houses which some have been frozen.”

Justice Matanda Moyo also gave an update on asset forfeitures for individuals and companies found on the wrong side of the law.

She added, “We are partnering with foreign agencies that are international organisations who actually assist us in tracing assets from Zimbabwe which are stashed around the world. So, we are working with various organisations who assist us in following the money, in finding where most of our properties are and so far, we have managed to locate informally where most of the assets are.”

She went on, “There are countries which are about five major countries where our assets are located. And what happens is these agencies help us understand the legal systems operating within those countries and they help us with the recoveries.”

“So, we have simply instituted the initial stages of identification and also identifying the lawyers we will be using. So currently were not negotiating on the percentages that we may have to pay to the lawyers after recovery. So, once we do that we will then kick-start foreign asset recovery,” she further stated.

ZACC has over the years apprehended individuals involved in corrupt activities as it aims to weed out corruption in the country.

ProvinceNo. of Cases for Further Investigations
Harare Metropolitan156
Mashonaland Central25
Mashonaland East120
Mashonaland West50

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