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One Who Appoint, May Also Disappoint-Gonese

By Shingirai Vambe

The appointment of the Prosecutor General by the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, following the 23-24 2023 General election landslide victory has been described as problematic and does not inspire confidence in citizens and various institutions in the southern African country.

President Mnangagwa appointed former Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission Chairperson, Justice Loice Matanda Moyo as the Prosecutor General, taking over from Kumbirai Rwodzi who resigned on medical grounds.

“His Excellency the President, has in terms of Section 259(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe appointed Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo as the Prosecutor-General with immediate effect, “ said Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Martin Rushwaya.

Moyo led the Anti-Corruption Commission since its inception in 2019 and on various platforms she has reported positive results that the organization undertook in curbing corruption in Zimbabwe, she spoke on various platforms of the effective execution of duty by her officers though during her tenure some officers were ejected for corruption.

ZACC has arrested and opened cases of various accounting officers in different companies and institutions around the country. Majority of the cases have since died a natural death due to lack of sufficient evidence to try or convict suspects.

In 2021, during the Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce annual congress in Victoria Falls, Moyo told the Post On Sunday Newspaper that the commission has done its part and majority of the cases were now in the Prosecutor General’s office, most of which have been struck off the role and they died a natural death.

Now that she (Moyo) is the prosecutor General, expectations are that she moves with all corruption cases that have been hanging since 2018, Former Mutare Member of Parliament, Innocent Gonese thinks otherwise.

Gonese, a known legal practitioner, told this publication that her appointment makes no difference in Zimbabwe justice delivery system.

Former Mutare CCC Legislator, Innocent Gonese

“This is a political appointment, nothing else and expect no change whatsoever because the one who appoint may also disappoint,” said Gonese.

He said the problem start from the appointment which is done only by the President through constitutional powers bestowed on him and the amendment of that Act number 2 can only happen on the concurrence of the executive.

Another legal guru, Beatrice Mtetwa told the Post On Sunday that for some time, Justice Moyo has been raising issues on the limited powers of ZACC and her appointment was purely strategic to deal with all pending corruption cases, however her closeness to the reins of power, predatory and toxic politics still stinks, doubt if she will independently discharge her duties.

“My thinking, she will have more convictions of corruption cases than her predecessors, because of her knowledge and experience over the years, she however has to resign as the judge as she can’t serve these two offices as they are in conflict of each other” Mtetwa said.

Human right lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa

The Prosecutor General responded and told this publication that she had already resigned before being appointed to the new office.

Matanda-Moyo has vast experience in the justice delivery system having served as a Magistrate, State Advisor in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, State Counsel (Criminal Division) of the Attorney-General prosecuting in the High and Supreme Courts.

She rose through the ranks to the post of Director Civil Division and Director Public Prosecution before being appointed Judge of the Labour Court (2009) and Judge of the High Court (2013).

“We are coming up with guidelines and timelines and I would like to assure you that all cases will be prosecuted in no time,” said Loice Matanda-Moyo.

The country has recorded losses of billions of dollars annually, through leakages of funds and natural resources through corruption and former Norton Legislator, and African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC) Chairperson, Temba Mliswa allege that most of the corrupt cases involved political big wigs and senior Government officials and those close to the echelons of power as attributed by the Asian television network, Aljazeera documentary, the Gold Mafia.

To ascertain claims by Gonese, Mtetwa and Mliswa, of lack of independence and separation of powers, the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Francis Mudenda, barred Members of the 9th Parliament from inquiring, investigate and or debate the claims and outcome of the Aljazeera Gold Mafia Documentary saying the claims are unsubstantiated allegations without proof or evidence.

During the CEO Africa Roundtable conference in Victoria Falls, former Legislator, Tendai Biti refereed to the book, Why Nations Fail. he said it’s so important to have strong institutions, civic societies and Parliament.

“The issue of transparency and accountability is key. I was looking at some of the frightening statistics on the African continent, at independence in the 50s and 60s our per capita income was around $1200, 6 decades later our per capita is around $1500 and Zimbabwe is at $1200 because the state is an arena of personal wealth accumulation through corrupt means,” Biti said.

Biti said it’s so important to have constitutions with constitutionalism and strong independent Judiciary.

On The panel, Nigel Chanikira pointed out one critical issue, of the political risk premium which is failing the nation. In response, politician and ZANU PF senior member, Chris Mutsvangwa defended party and government position and urged delegates to ignore “flavorous-metaphysics”governance issues.