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THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) says it is pushing for the setting up of timelines to reduce delays in the prosecution of corruption cases.

Zacc spokesperson John Makamure told delegates at the Zimbabwe Association of Pension Funds conference in Nyanga that corruption was rife in both private and public institutions and there was  need to  nip it in the bud.

“Corruption is endemic in both the public and private sectors. Private sector can be a victim and beneficiary of corruption. We have witnessed senior business executives with political connections gaining preferential treatment through influence peddling,”

Makamure said.

He said the pension industry should intensify efforts to improve governance frameworks and strengthen actions to improve the prevention, detection and sanctioning of corrupt practices.

“The major objectives of pension industry investments are to ensure safety of pension fund assets and maintenance of fair (above inflation) returns on investment for the benefit of beneficiaries. Where there is corruption such as fraud and embezzlement, the benefits are eroded,” he said.

Makamure said Zacc was concerned about delays in the prosecution of corruption cases.

He said Zacc was lobbying for legal reforms that would gazette timelines on corruption cases prosecution.

“When the suspect is given bail, they have not been released. We are concerned about the delay in prosecution of corruption cases. There must be timeframes in which the corruption matter is finalised. We want the matter to be finalised within a certain period. There is progress in that regard. Then we deal with the catch and release,”

Makamure said.

“We have lobbied to be given prosecuting powers. NPA is dealing with so many matters. Criminal matters, some of them are not corruption matters.

“That is why we are also lobbying for legal reforms so that we have timelines. Judges have been complaining but matters are not coming. We have to measure ourselves in terms of results, not number of dockets. Those are the reforms we are pushing for.”

The Zacc commissioner said the commission was rolling out integrity pledges in public and private sectors as well as integrity committees to champion the anti-corruption agenda.

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