‘Public frustrated by officials implicated in corruption’
THE public is frustrated because officials implicated in corruption are using legal technicalities to evade arrest and answer to charges they are facing, president of the Chief ’s Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira said yesterday.
In an interview after presenting a paper titled “The Role of Traditional Leadership in National Governance and Its Impact on National Security” at the National Defence College in Harare yesterday, Chief Charumbira condemned corruption in the country saying this was causing the society to lose confidence in the “Western” justice delivery system.
Chief Charumbira said the Western justice system had failed the public in ensuring that individuals stealing or unfairly benefitting from public resources are not being punished as they are walking scot-free while incriminating evidence will be available.
“On corruption, the problem is, we are using a Western system which is being abused by those who have money. Corrupt individuals are being left free because of technicality issues. Justice should be in accordance with the expectations of the society. The public is saying, we are fed up as people are not being brought to book,” he said.
“With this Western justice delivery system, if you are rich, you can buy good lawyers. You can actually use the money that you stole to pay the good lawyers so that they argue for your release. We need to inculcate confidence in the justice system so that justice is delivered to every individual.”
Chief Charumbira called for a transition in the justice delivery system from the Western to the African justice system which requires corrupt individuals to pay back everything they had looted.
He said the African justice system was better than the Western way because chiefs acted upon advice from the elders, while in the magistrates’ courts, an innocent person could be sent to jail improperly.
“Jurisdiction should be in sync with societal values and adhere to principles of natural justice trusted by the populace; the court refers to chapters, sections of the law, which the parties are not aware of,” he said.
“Participation in court proceedings is not limited to a few parties like those on summons or subpoenas in modern justice. The final judgment never humiliates anyone. It is a correction aimed at reintegrating the offender after persuading the victim to consent to this effect.”