Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
PROSECUTOR General, Mr Kumbirai Hodzi, has called upon every Zimbabwean and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) officers, in particular, to embrace values of integrity and always shun corruption to ensure supremacy of the rule of law, which is critical in attracting investments into the country.
He said this in Gweru yesterday while officially opening the NPA Strategic Plan workshop.
Mr Hodzi also stressed the need for every stakeholder to contribute to national development and progress.
In line with the Government’s National Development Strategy (NDS1:2021-2025), he said, the NPA must play its part in promoting the rule of law and ensure cases before the courts are concluded in record time.
“Crime and corruption are impediments to the effective realisation of the aspiration of Vision 2030 of a prosperous and empowered upper middle-income society,” he said.
“We (NPA) play a critical role in ensuring the eradication of these vices and the attainment of the objectives of Vision 2030, that is, through the efficient prosecution of crime and corruption without fear, favour, prejudice or bias.”
Mr Hodzi said the NPA officers should appreciate that their conduct could either promote or frustrate progress in NDS 1 implementation, adding that the economic blue-print was the first of its kind as it cascades from the top right down to the grassroot.
“NDS1 is about you and me being a part of the whole value chain. Each one of us has a role to play to change the narrative concerning the brand Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We need to show up, shape up and deliver or ship out. Mediocrity and a lackadaisical approach to prosecution will not be tolerated.
“We need to ensure that our approach is robust, methodical, scientific and above all, professional. We must work hard to deliver on the expected sectoral outcomes.
“Our sector is critical with regards to investment. Investors are concerned about governance issues.
“They want to be sure that their investment is in safe hands. No investor wants to put his or her money into a basket of corruption or zero rule of law. Investment depends on the rule of law, full access to justice and zero corruption,” said Mr Hodzi.
He said as part of the judiciary, their role under the NDS1 blue-print was clear as they have to push national interests in the area of public service delivery, justice and upholding unity, peace and reconciliation as the building blocks for achieving equitable and sustainable national development.
“This means that the NPA is expected to manage its resources in a manner that will further the Second Republic’s agenda to improve the economy by guaranteeing the realisation of human rights in a manner that is free of abuse and corruption, and with due regard to the rule of law,” said Mr Hodzi.
He said the NPA in collaboration with the Office of the President and Cabinet, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Public Service Commission met last year to come up with policies and strategies to ensure the implementation of the organisation’s obligations under the NDS1.
“This resulted in the creation and adoption of a Strategic Plan, which echoed the agency’s aspirations under the Vision 2030 programme and the drafting of the secretary’s contract,” he said.
Going forward, Mr Hodzi said the performance of the NPA as a whole will be judged according to its ability to attain these set targets.
He said despite the Covid-19 related constraints experienced in the justice, law and order sector, the NPA has registered great strides in the realisation of its set targets, thanks to support from the Government, cooperating partners, stakeholders and members of the general public.
“The NPA was given Treasury concurrence to recruit more prosecutors and received funding to cater for its operations.
“To date we have recruited 291 prosecutors. The recruitment of these prosecutors has increased the NPA’s operational efficiency and improved service delivery,” said Mr Hodzi.
“We have also bought a number of computers and laptops. Everyone must have his or her own personal computer. We have also managed to secure vehicles for the stations.
“It is hoped that by this time next year every station will have its own vehicle to ensure operational efficiency.”