Zimbabwe sets up special courts for politically motivated crimes

The government of Zimbabwe has set up special courts to try political crimes, ahead of a planned presidential election scheduled for later this year.

“The judiciary in liaison with the police and other stakeholders has set up special courts throughout the country to speedily deal with politically motivated crimes,” Erasmus Makodza, a senior assistant commissioner, told reporters in the capital, Harare, on Monday.

Since his rise to power in November 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has initiated a series of reforms in the southern African nation, including electoral reforms.

Earlier this year, the Zimbabwean government announced that it would allow foreign observer envoys into the country for the presidential vote. Under former president Robert Mugabe, the observers – particularly from the West – were banned from the country, for allegedly being biased in their reports.

Mnangagwa also pledged to re-engage the West as he seeks to rejuvenate the country’s battered economy.

Mnangagwa in January also warned corrupt statesmen who had stashed stolen millions abroad to return the money, giving them a three-month window.

Chief Justice Luke Malaba then announced that the judiciary would set up special courts in each of the country’s 10 provinces to tackle graft cases.

This –the Mnangagwa administration hoped – would help eradicate corruption that had thrived under Mugabe.