Zimbabwe Profiles People Michael Reza Biography | Education, Career, Controversies

Michael Reza Biography | Education, Career, Controversies

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Michael Reza Biography | Education, Career, Controversies

This is the biography of Michael Reza, a Zimbabwean lawyer who currently serves as the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), having assumed this role in March 2024.

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Michael Reza 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. He has also received training in money laundering and asset forfeiture in South Africa, Botswana, and Malawi under the sponsorship of the United Nations Organ on Drugs and Crime. Reza has extensive experience in criminal investigations and prosecution, particularly in handling high-level corruption cases.

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On March 19, 2024, President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed Michael Reza as the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), in accordance with Subsection 1 (a) of Section 254 of the Constitution. Reza succeeded Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, who became the Prosecutor-General in 2022.

Prior to his appointment as ZACC Chairperson, Reza served as a prosecutor for serious crimes in the country’s courts for over a decade. Notable cases he prosecuted include the conviction of Robert Martin Gumbura for rape. In 2024, one of his widely publicized cases was the conviction of opposition politician Tendai Biti for verbal assault.

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In a notable incident on 15 November 2018, Reza recused himself from the trial of Tendai Biti due to a politically charged filing he made at the High Court while opposing Biti’s application for an exception to the charges. Biti argued that he was unlawfully brought before the court after being apprehended by Zimbabwean state security agents in Zambia, where he had sought asylum.

Further controversy arose in December 2018 when Biti’s lawyers applied for Reza to be held in contempt of court. This followed an alleged text message from Reza to Thabani Mpofu, in which he criticized presiding magistrate Gloria Takundwa for allowing journalists to livestream court proceedings. The matter was referred to the High Court for guidance by Magistrate Gloria Takundwa.

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