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Zimbabwe publishes list of nation looters, chasing $827 million

Zimbabwe publishes list of nation looters, chasing $827 million

Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government on Monday published a list of state funds stashed in foreign accounts. The government called such funds “Externalized Foreign Currency and Assets.”

According to a release signed by the president Emmerson Mnangagwa, there was an estimated amount of $827 million yet to be recovered.

It said companies and individuals had returned $591 million in such funds after a 90-day amnesty to bring back the money was issued by the president late last year.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is ready to process transactions where the concerned parties can show proof of declaration and/or repatriation of funds without prejudice given that the burden of proof lies with the concerned parties, the statement read.

The three broad categories of defaulters were:

  • Funds externalised through non repatriation of export proceeds
  • Funds externalised through payment of goods not received in Zimbabwe
  • Funds externalised to foreign banks in cash or under spurious transactions.

In total, the government had expected over 1.4 trillion dollars to be surrendered. Category one per the record had over $526 million to be retrieved but a little over $289 million was received. Category two with $177 million produced $52 million whiles Category three which had $714,204,171 produced $250 dollars.

The state-run Herald newspaper in December 2017 posted a video in which the president is heard saying, “Under the new administration, we have given three months for those who had taken money out of this country to bring it back. I did not say that without knowledge, I have a list of who took money out.

“So in March (2018) when the period expires, those who would have not heeded my moratorium, I’ll name them,” he added. He also called for party and national unity and the unconditional removal of political and economic sanctions imposed by the west on his government.

Mnangagwa, 75, became leader of the southern African nation last month after the military and ruling ZANU-PF turned against Robert Mugabe. “Going forward we call for the unconditional lifting of the political and economic sanctions which have crippled our national development.

“We realise that isolation is not splendid or viable, as there is more to gain through solidarity and mutually beneficial partnerships which will help us realize our unique national interests. Government will thus pursue a robust re-engagement process to fully affirm our belonging to the family of nations,” he added.

While the European Union removed sanctions on ZANU-PF officials, members of the military and some government-owned firms in 2014, the United States has kept a travel and economic embargo on several ruling party elites.
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