Controversial public prosecutor Michael Reza named as Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission chairperson


HARARE – Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed prominent and controversial public prosecutor Michael Reza as the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), according to a statement by Martin Rushwaya, Chief Secretary to the Office of the Cabinet and President. 

controversial public prosecutor Michael Reza named Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission chairperson
Image: The Zimbabwe Mail 

The appointment is effective immediately.

The statement said that Reza, who holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of South Africa and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the Midlands State University, has extensive experience in criminal investigations and prosecution. 

It added that he has handled high-level corruption cases and prosecuted serious crimes in the country's courts for over a decade. He has also undergone training in handling money laundering and asset forfeiture in South Africa, Botswana, and Malawi under the sponsorship of the United Nations Organ on Drugs and Crime.

The appointment follows his nomination sent to parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders to assess his suitability for the position. He succeeds Loice Matanda-Moyo, who became Prosecutor General in October of the previous year.

Reza is known for his involvement in the detention of numerous opposition leaders and has actively pursued political trials against opposition activists, including prominent figures such as Tendai Biti, Fadzayi Mahere, Joana Mamombe, Jacob Mafume, Cecilia Chimbiri, Makomborero Haruzivishe, Evan Mawarire, Job Sikhala, author Tsitsi Dangarembga, journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, and international rights lawyer Siphosami Malunga.

Reza has also been involved in some controversies. He has been accused of forgery in a case involving CCC activists Joanna Mamombe and Ceciliah Chimbiri. 

His relationship with alleged land baron Kenneth Raydon Sharpe, against whom corruption complaints have been made to ZACC, has also been questioned.

His appointment to ZACC will be closely watched by many, given his role in politically sensitive matters and allegations of misconduct in legal proceedings. 

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