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Commercial crimes court on cards

THE government intends to set up a commercial crimes court which will specifically deal with issues related to economic “sabotage”, a government minister has said.

“>In an interview this week, Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies minister Paul Mangwana said that the court will also be used to determine cases of self-exiled bankers.

Bankers that fled the country during the height of the financial sector crackdown include Julius Makoni, James Mushore, Otto Chekeche, Mthuli Ncube and Nicholas Vingirai.

Although the country is facing a backlog of magistrates, Mangwana is optimistic that by the time the court is set up, the issue would have been addressed.

“Once they are here, they will be tried at that court,” Mangwana said. “It does not matter when they come back, but once they come they will be tried there.”

The bankers fled the country on allegations of externalising foreign currency and running down their institutions. Over the past 14 months, the government has been trying to have the bankers extradited with little success.

“One of the reasons for setting up that court is that there is a serious backlog of cases that have to be dealt with by the commercial crimes court,” Mangwana said.

“The issue of extradition of these people is being handled by another ministry.”

In 2004, nine financial institutions namely Barbican, CFX Bank, CFX Merchant Bank, Intermarket Banking Corporation, Intermarket Building Society, Intermarket Discount House, Royal Bank of Zimbabwe, Time Bank and Trust Banking Corporation were placed under the management of curators. – Staff Writers.

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