ZIMBABWE Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo has described graft as one of the major human rights violations in the country.
Addressing various stakeholders during a roundtable meeting in Harare yesterday, which discussed the nexus between corruption and human rights, Matanda-Moyo urged anti-corruption institutions to guard against infringing on people’s rights in the process of fighting graft.
The meeting was organised by Zacc in collaboration with Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Transparency International Zimbabwe.
“Including human rights approaches in the fight against corruption ensures that during Zacc’s work, our investigators and legal officers do not infringe on the rights of an individual to the presumption of innocence, the right to property and the right to privacy,” Matanda-Moyo said.
“Human rights approaches most importantly highlight the need to secure adequate protection for persons who report corrupt practices. As Zacc, we take pride in collaborative approaches to mitigating corruption through creation of strategic partnerships.
“It is under this partnership between Zacc and Raoul Wallenberg Institute on Human Rights that we are strengthening the capacities of institutions to promote, respect, protect and fulfil human rights within their respective mandates and enhance the means and space for main stakeholders to constructively engage with each other on human rights development.”
She said although graft busters were targeting criminals, they should respect the rights of offenders as enshrined in the Constitution.
“While anti-corruption instruments focus on suppression of corruption through criminalisation and place emphasis on the perpetrators, human rights law takes a victim-centred approach. It also imposes an obligation to prevent corruption, as well as to provide redress to the injured party or parties.
“Including human rights approaches in the fight against corruption ensures that during Zacc’s work, our investigators and legal officers do not infringe on the rights of an individual to the presumption of innocence, the right to property and the right to privacy.”
Zacc is fighting for the crafting of a whistleblower protection law to shield persons that report graft.
Recently, Zacc bemoaned delays in finalisation of court cases as suspects were continually submitting applications at the courts in the guise of exercising their constitutional rights to deliberately avoid trial.