5 years jail time for cor­rup­tion too lit­tle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

EDI­TOR — I am glad to see that Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe ap­proved a new law al­low­ing se­nior public of­fi­cials and Min­is­ters to be sen­tenced for up to five years for cor­rupt ac­tiv­i­ties in­volv­ing mil­lions.

My con­cern how­ever is some­one guilty of stock theft in­volv­ing a cou­ple of cat­tle worth a few thou­sand can be sen­tenced to be­tween nine years and 25 years and in many cases much longer.

How can a per­son who has prej­u­diced the public of money run­ning into thou­sands or mil­lions be li­able to just five years in prison or less?

It re­mains to be seen if cor­rupt public of­fi­cials can face five years for each charge to run con­sec­u­tively, and at least give the public the im­pres­sion that some sem­blance of pro­por­tional jus­tice is ad­hered to.

Per­haps some­one who knows the law can also ex­plain what op­tions are avail­able to re­cover pe­cu­niary dam­ages to the State and peo­ple apart from liq­ui­dat­ing lo­cal as­sets of those per­sons even­tu­ally, if ever charged.

Also, what can be done to re­cover for­eign as­sets where sub­stan­tial sums have long left the coun­try?

I sin­cerely feel that cor­rup­tion in­con­ve­niences the whole coun­try and as such, there should be at least 10 years for con­victed public of­fi­cials.

This is be­cause as a re­sult of their dis­hon­esty, the coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment po­ten­tial is taken back by a cou­ple of years ev­ery time cor­rup­tion takes place.

There should be very scary reper­cus­sions al­most close to that at­tracted by trea­sonous of­fences and this will en­sure that peo­ple re­frain from dis­hon­est ba­haviour in public of­fice.

All the same, the five-year sen­tence is a good start and I hope to see it ap­plied in the near fu­ture. Tap­fuma V, Via email

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