Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Treasury has paid $46 000 towards rental arrears for Corner House in Harare, the headquarters of the National Prosecuting Authority. Last month, Prosecutor-General Mr Johannes Tomana, appealed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa for financial assistance at the time the rental bill for the property, which is located along Samora Machel, had ballooned to $146 000.
When the NPA Act became operational in January this year and the independent authority recruited its secretariat, Government saw it fit to move them from the New Government Complex to some rented offices at Corner House. Prosecutors moved into the new building in March this year, but the NPA was facing challenges in paying rent.
In an interview, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabhiza confirmed the release of the funds. “I can confirm that soon after the newspaper report on the rent challenges at the NPA came out last month, Treasury availed $46 000 to assist in clearing the debt.
“We are still in the process, as ministry, of sourcing more funds to ensure the NPA gets out of arrears,” she said. Mrs Mabhiza said the Treasury undertook to pay future rent for the building six months in advance to ease pressure on the recently weaned NPA. “Treasury assured us that it will pay rentals for the NPA six months in advance until we acquire our own property,” said Mrs Mabhiza.
Last month VP Mnangagwa said Government would work towards constructing a building for the NPA to avoid paying rent. He said the rented building for NPA was only a starting point for the newly established authority, but Government was planning to buy a building to accommodate prosecutors.