The ICJ, in collaboration with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), convened a virtual Asset Recovery Training Workshop from 18-26 August. The training was part of the ICJ efforts to advance the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
The training was held with investigators from ZACC. It was led by Dr Prosper Maguchu, a legal expert on human rights and financial crimes.
The objective of the training was to enhance the capacity of ZACC investigators to conduct financial investigations and apply asset tracing techniques in relation to corruption and money laundering cases.
Over the past 50 years, it is estimated that Africa has lost in excess of one trillion US dollars in illicit financial flows (IFFs) with claims that this is roughly equivalent to all of the official development assistance received by the continent during the same timeframe.
Zimbabwe is not immune to this challenge of IFFs.
ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo remarked that financial crimes and illicit financial flows had become a serious threat the Zimbabwe economy and beyond our borders. She pointed to the prevalence of tax evasion, smuggling, corruption, fraud, drug trafficking and money laundering and noted that ill-gotten proceeds involving money were moving across borders. In such instances it is a daunting task for investigators and asset recovery officers to follow the money trails and recover proceeds of crime. She noted that the virtual asset recovery workshop was an opportune moment time to enhance the capacity of investigators and asset recovery officers.
“This training was very timely and critical. It enhanced the capacity of ZACC in its pursuit to recover assets accumulated though corruption. The investigators were equipped with the requisite skills and techniques involved in asset recovery that include collecting evidence, issuing restraint and freezing orders and making mutual legal assistance requests. Recovering stolen assets is an important process in the fight against corruption as it deters corruption by turning it into a high-risk, low-reward activity. Additionally, asset recovery is a means to obtain resources for the development of the country, which resources can also be channelled towards strengthening the fight against corruption in Zimbabwe, thus contributing to the greater respect for the rule of law,” said ICJ Senior Legal Adviser Blessing Gorejena.
The training workshop provided a comprehensive overview on what asset recovery means, exploring approaches and tools in asset recovery and enhance the technical capacity of the investigators to trace, seize and confiscate and repatriate illicitly acquired assets.
Participants in this workshop included 18 investigative officers and two Commissioners. Overall there were 11 female and 9 male participants in attendance.
This workshop was supported by the European Union Delegation in Zimbabwe.
Shaazia Ebrahim (ICJ media officer), c: +277 167 067 19 e: shaazia.ebrahim(a)icj.org
Vimbai Mutandwa (ICJ legal advisor), c: +263 77 351 7733 e: vimbai.mutandwa(a)icj.orgAdvocacyNewsWeb stories