TIME UP FOR LOOTERS
Individuals and corporates who have been siphoning funds and assets out of the country have up to tomorrow to return the loot or risk prosecution and being named and shamed.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa issued a three-month moratorium soon after his inauguration last November for the return of all looted funds and assets. The grace period which allowed looters to return the loot with no questions asked started on November 28 and ends tomorrow.
Announcing the grace period, the President said Operation Restore Legacy which was launched by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to usher in a new political dispensation, unearthed serious economic
The President said those who fail to return the loot within the stipulated period face prosecution.
“Activities linked to the Operation Restore Legacy have, among other issues, helped to uncover cases where huge amounts of money and other assets were illegally externalised by certain individuals and corporates. Needless to say such malpractice constitutes a serious economic crime against the people of Zimbabwe which the Government of Zimbabwe will never condone,” President Mnangagwa said last November.
Addressing delegates during Zanu-PF conference the following month, the President said he had knowledge of those who had externalised funds.
“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 to my moratorium I will name them and shame them,” he said.
The President warned that those who fail to heed his call will be arrested and prosecuted.
In an interview in Davos, Switzerland in January, President Mnangagwa expressed satisfaction that his call on funds and assets return was being heeded.
“I think you are aware that I made a three month moratorium on those who had taken assets of Zimbabwe outside the country, I’m glad to say few days ago I had a brief from my Governor of the Reserve Bank (Dr John Mangudya) that many people who had taken assets outside the country, some have brought back the funds, some are in the process of negotiating,” he said.
The President said it was easy to trace those who externalised the funds.
“Those who have taken funds outside and not come forward, I have the list because the banking fraternity, the financial service sector has been able to give us details on who took out funds and we have that,” said Cde Mnangagwa.