The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has threatened to go after businesses that do not bank cash proceeds as well as financial institutions that allegedly channel cash into the informal sector, thereby fuelling the black market.
Addressing a Press conference where he was giving an update of cases currently being investigated by the anti-graft body, Goodson Nguni, the commissioner in charge of investigations, said the commission would also extend its dragnet to retailers who are not banking their cash proceeds as the government continues to be haunted by the cash shortages.
Nguni said government had availed funds to allow the commission to recruit qualified personnel and buy vehicles for the ambitious programme to arrest unscrupulous cash dealers with the aim of improving the circulation of money in the formal sector.
“We have set up or we are in the process of setting up a special investigations team to do what we have not been doing for a long time as Zacc,” Nguni said.
“We are going to set up the team. We would like to first thank the government for allowing us to recruit from outside lawyers, economists and auditors. So the government is walking the talk in supporting anti-corruption activities.
“What the special investigations team is going to do is it is going to look into cases where business has sabotaged the economy. For example, there are many companies that are not banking their income tax, it is fraud under the income tax. We are now going to go after them.”
Nguni added: “We are now going to look at balance sheets of companies. We are going to look at the detailed part of their balance sheets to see whether they are banking the cash they are receiving. We are aware there are many organisations that are receiving cash, millions of dollars, from the public, and they are not taking that money to the bank.”
The country has been facing serious cash shortages that have worsened after the July 30 elections won by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, albeit in controversial circumstances.
Serious foreign currency challenges have resulted in the spike of prices of basic commodities in anticipation of shortages that are manifesting such as fuel and cement.
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has claimed the nosediving of the economy was a result of the lack of legitimacy by Mnangagwa’s government after “stealing the people’s votes” and only a return to legitimacy would bring sanity to the economy, a claim that has been dismissed by Zanu-PF.
“We are going to make sure there are teams countrywide that are going to monitor companies. We are also aware that the retailers are receiving millions of dollars every day from the people. Now we have information that some companies are keeling this cash and some managers transfer the money from their personal accounts,” Nguni said.
He said Zacc would seek the support from the police to ensure that everyone who receives cash banks it so that money can circulate.
The commissioner said Zacc was going to investigate all the investments made by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) since the Government of National Unity era, claiming a lot of fraud was involved around pension funds.
“Those people who violated the law will be arrested. We are also investigating banking fraud, where some bank managers took loans and externalised money,” he said.
Nguni said the commission would investigate all the money transferred from NSSA to Interfin Merchant Bank and the now-defunct Renaissance Bank at the instigation of former Finance minister Tendai Biti, whom he said he was trying to get hold of for questioning.
“Even the money used to build Joina City came from NSSA and the money is not coming back to NSSA. We are going to investigate all investments by NSSA in the past five to seven years to recoup the money invested by pensioners,” the chief investigator said.
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