Zimbabwe NPA partners Russia, Italy for cyber forensics

By Staff reporter | 15 Feb 2020 at 16:56hrs
THE National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has struck partnership deals with Italy and Russia among other countries to capacitate its prosecutors in cyber forensic prosecutions.

In an interview in Bulawayo on Monday, Prosecutor-General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi said prosecutors need capacitation on cybercrimes to effectively fight corruption and organised crime.

He said some sophisticated criminals were taking advantage of loopholes in the justice delivery system to evade arrest and prosecution.

"Most of the incidences of corruption that we are facing now are also very technical and they are cyber-based. They require as it were, a thorough understanding of the environment that the organised criminals are operating in as they are using the advantage of the technological advances in society and we need to up our game in terms of investigations," Mr Hodzi said.

"We need a cyber forensic laboratory, we need to have comprehension, we need to change our laws in a manner that will allow deducing of cyber evidence, technical evidence, we need to understand the operations of computers and computer-based transactions, that is the requirement.

 "We recognise our deficiencies as far as this is concerned. We are in consultation with a number of jurisdictions, the Italians for instance have accepted to train some of our officers in those areas. A number of Commonwealth and European Union countries, the Russians have also agreed to train some of our officers in those areas where we have deficiencies. It's a matter of raising our core competencies and that is to be done as soon as possible given the gravity of the threat that is facing us".

He said the NPA in partnership with other law enforcement agents will soon address the "catch and release phenomenon" which members of the public are raising concerns about.

"We have put together a number of strategies after consultation with my sister agencies, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, Judicial Service Commission and other law enforcement institutions. We have put in place a liaison desk that is going to rigorously analyse all cases-PF corruption, especially dockets before they are brought to the courts to make sure that it's only dockets that have a strong investigation basis that are brought before the courts," Mr Hodzi said.

"We all understand the effect corruption has been having on our society. Everybody is concerned about the incidences of corruption but also about the prosecution, the handling of those cases by the authorities that are mandated to fight corruption.

"The organisation that I head, the NPA, has been putting together a number of strategies in ensuring effective prosecution especially of high-level corruption in the country."



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