BY VENERANDA LANGA
Cross said this in the National Assembly while contributing to debate on a motion in reply to the Presidential Speech where he said the amount translated to $1,7 billion lost every year every due to corrupt activities.
“That is equivalent to $4 500 for every living Zimbabwean, woman and child and this excludes specifically the cost of Marange,” he said.
The MDC-T local government secretary said in his extensive investigations of Marange, he found that $17 billion worth of diamonds were produced.
“The average production per annum was $2,8 billion and I think it is widely recognised that, at this time, Marange was supplying 25% of global raw diamond demand, and if you add the $17 billion to the $60 billion, the estimate for corruption in Zimbabwe since 1980 is $77 billion. That is equivalent to five years of our gross domestic product,” he said.
Cross said the country had been completely choked by greedy individuals and companies.
“In addition, I estimate that in 2016, the total cost of corruption in Zimbabwe will be equal to $1,7 billion,” he said.
Cross said as MPs gather in Bulawayo this week to discuss the 2017 National Budget proposals, they should look at the losses the country had incurred due to corruption.
“In my view, $1,4 billion of the $1,7 billion loss could be recovered by this House. This represents a do-or-die situation for the nation as we are struggling to buy medicines for our hospitals, we cannot put books on the desks of our schools, we cannot finance the Basic Education Assistance Module and yet there are these very considerable sums of money which are being consumed by corrupt elements in our society in front of us,” he said.
Cross said at border posts, Zimra collected a paltry $384 million on $6 billion worth of foreign trade, with duty on motor vehicles alone being low yet it should be double the total amount collected.