Felex Share Senior Reporter—
President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said he has a list of individuals and corporates that externalised money and the culprits will be dealt with if they fail to repatriate the money within the prescribed three months.The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, two weeks ago, gave individuals and corporates a three-month moratorium to return the money and assets they externalised. The amnesty stretches from December 1 to February 28, 2018.
Government, he said, would neither ask questions nor prefer charges against those repatriating the money or assets. Addressing the 107th Session of the Zanu-pf Central Committee meeting in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said those who ignored the amnesty would be named, shamed and face the law.
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“I said under the new administration we have given three months for those who have taken money out of this country to bring it back. I didn’t say that without knowledge. I have a list of who took money out. So in March when the period expires, those who would not have heeded my moratorium I will name and shame them,” he said.
Central bank statistics indicate that an estimated $3 billion was externalised between 2015 and 2017 to countries such as Mauritius, in the Far East and Botswana.
It is believed that of the $3 billion, about $1,8 billion was spirited away illegally, while the balance was expatriated through management fees, service fees, technical fees and royalties. President Mnangagwa said zanu-pf and its leadership should “put the interests of the people we lead ahead of our own.”
Quoting former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, President Mnangagwa said widespread corruption in high places breeds poverty.
“In this regard, let us shun corruption and the temptations towards self-gain and self-interest. The corrupt tendencies that had in the recent past gripped our nation will not and cannot be allowed to continue. We cannot, thus, in all clear conscience ever condone or ignore corruption as it has the deleterious effect on our nation and impoverishes our people. It is time that we as a party pledge to fight this evil and join forces with like-minded Zimbabweans until it is completely eradicated from our society,” he said.
On external relations, President Mnangagwa commended Sadc and other international bodies for allowing Zimbabwe to decide its course during the recent transition period.
“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, mutually beneficial partnerships which, however, recognise our unique national interests,” he said.
He said Zimbabwe would pursue a robust re-engagement process to fully affirm its belonging to the family of nations. “The re-engagement strategy will seek to create new relations whilst holding steadfast to those countries that stood by us during our darkest years. In this regard, measures will be put in place to attract foreign investment and ensure that Zimbabwe is a place where capital feels safe,” the President said.
President Mnangagwa also urged the zanu-pf leadership to understand the new trajectory Zimbabwe was taking and constantly apprise members of developments taking place.