Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
A BILL to empower the State to seize ill-gotten wealth is expected to gazetted on Friday before the legislative process commences in Parliament next week, a Cabinet Minister has said.
The crafting of the Micro Finance Bill attests to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s determination to fight corruption as part of a number of far reaching reforms underway in the country.
In an interview, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the Bill was developed to deal with unexplained wealth and is expected to be gazetted on Friday before it is introduced in Parliament next week.
The new piece of legislation will authorise the High Court to issue an unexplained wealth order on properties of individuals.
The country has witnessed a surge in individuals who accumulate wealth overnight amid concerns over rampant corruption activities.
“Under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures), regulations to do with unexplained wealth where upon application to the judge, the police can get an order compelling someone to explain where he got his/ her wealth. If that person fails to do so, the ill-gotten wealth will be forfeited,” he said.
“So we have been amending the Micro Finance Act to incorporate that to give legal effect when we want to forfeit wealth one can’t explain. The Bill will be gazetted this Friday. It will go before Parliament; it should go next week and legislative process will then commence.”
Officially commissioning the fifth specialised anti-corruption court in the country in Gweru on Friday, Minister Ziyambi said corruption was hitting the poor mostly since they cannot pay bribes.
“As Minister in charge of the administration of justice, I take immense pride in that all these institutions have fully embraced His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe’s clarion call for a corruption free Zimbabwe in order for the country to attract increased Foreign Direct Investment,” he said.