Statutory Instrument 143 of 2019 has given the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) arresting powers. The changes were announced in an Extraordinary Government Gazette published last Friday.
The commission has been at the receiving end of insults from the general public which felt it was doing less to contain corruption. Section 2 (paragraph h) of the definition of “peace officer” under the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07) now includes ZACC officers.
Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabiza confirmed the promulgation of the SI 143. Explaining its effect, Mabiza said:
The statutory instrument gives powers of arrest to officers of ZACC. This means that in addition to their special powers to fight corruption they can now arrest any person on reasonable suspicion of any other crime having been committed.
Peace officers hand over those under their arrest to the police to continue with investigations. Before the instrument, ZACC would simply make recommendations for the police to arrest in terms of the Constitution.
The national Consitution mandates the Commission to investigate and expose criminal cases before handing them to the police.
It further gives the Commission the power to direct the Commissioner-General of police to investigate cases of suspected corruption, to refer to the Prosecutor-General matters for prosecution, as well as to require assistance from members of the police.
More: The Herald