A senior police officer who allegedly received a residential stand irregularly, on Thursday questioned the employment status of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) managers.
Appearing at the Harare magistrates’ court, Douglas Nyakutsikwa, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) commissioner in charge of intelligence, also queried the constitutionality of SACU.
The unit operates in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office and has been criticised for duplicating the role of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) director, Muchaneta Mundopa, has described it as illegal.
“It’s illegal, it’s not effective and we are yet to see why it was set up in the first place. The Constitution states that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has the mandate prosecute all cases on behalf of the state.
“So we have this structure that is created by the President to fight corruption, to prosecute corruption on the pretext that there is so much corruption in the NPA,” Mundopa said.
Nyakutsikwa is being charged together with Addmore Nhekairo, the Harare City Council director of works who the State says corruptly acquired three residential stands from the local authority.
The SACU arrested Nyakutsikwa in August this year for illegally acquiring a residential stand from the council.
But the senior police officer wants his matter escalated to the Constitutional Court and is questioning the position that the head of SACU, Tabani Mpofu, and his deputy, Pearson Mbalekwa—both of who he averred were not civil servants despite being on a government payroll.
“I thought since they were under SACU, they were civil servants. I thought since they were under the president’s office, they were part of our intelligence world.
“This led me to tell them information that was classified and sensitive. I gave them information that should not be shared with someone who is not under oath. When you hold such office you should be public officer.
“Mpofu and Mbalekwa are earning government money and using facilities that must be for civil servants,” he said.
His lawyer, Tapson Dzvetero, made an application for the matter to be referred to the Constitutional Court on behalf of the senior cop.
“The first accused (Nyakutsikwa) is challenging the constitutionality of SACU and he wishes this court to refer the aforesaid issues to the highest court on constitutional issues to make judicial pronouncements on the issues aforesaid,” said the lawyer.
Nyakutsikwa wishes to have SACU nullified.
“He (Nyakutsikwa) will seek amongst other ancillary issues if this matter is referred for an order declaring that the conduct of the establishment of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit be here declared unconstitutional and of no legal effect,” says the application.
SACU has made several arrests and detentions of high profile public figures. It has just arrested the Harare mayor, Jacob Mafume, for reportedly acquiring two residential stands from council without following procedure and he is expected to appear in court soon.
The police intelligence boss said he wished the constitutional court to declare his arrest, detention and trial null and void since SACU had no sound constitutional mandate.
Nyakutsikwa insisted that he relinquished the stand in question after being advised that it was situated on a wetland.