GOVERNMENT has recovered at least $250 million out of the estimated $1,3 billion spirited out of the country under former President Robert Mugabe’s old regime, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said yesterday.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
In a statement marking the end of the first three-month moratorium offered to persons and institutions who allegedly externalised large sums of money out of the country over the years, Mnangagwa said he had agreed to extend the amnesty by two weeks after representations by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya.
“Government is pleased to advise the public that out of 1166 (valued at $1,3 billion) cases of externalisation known by government, a total of 105 cases valued at $250 million were processed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) in respect of externalised foreign currency.
“Thirty (30) cases valued at $50 million of immovable properties in various countries were reported to RBZ while 210 cases valued at $287 million pertained to externalised funds that were used to procure imports. The cases processed give a success rate of 45% by value,” Mnangagwa said.
Mnangagwa granted the blanket amnesty through the Presidential Powers (Temporary) Measures (Amendment of Exchange Control Act) Regulations, Statutory Instrument 145 of 2017 gazetted on December 1 last year.
The moratorium expired at the end of February.
The President said the bulk of the 771 cases (or 55% by value) that did not take heed of the amnesty “pertain to non-remittance of export proceeds (328 cases valued at $ 215,8 million), externalisation by foreigners (213 cases valued at $375 million), non-acquittal of imports (153 cases valued at $75,1 million) and Panama Papers and others valued at $150 million.”
Mnangagwa said he had agreed to extend the amnesty given the “positive response”.
“As a result of this positive response the Reserve Bank has requested for additional time to validate and finalise the amnesty process before government proceeds to name and shame those who did not take heed of the amnesty and to proceed to take legal action against such cases.
“In order to facilitate the above, the Bank has sought my authority to extend the amnesty period by a further two weeks. Accordingly, I have granted the authority for the extension of the amnesty by a period of two weeks to March 16, 2018 after which time the outstanding cases will be publicised on March 19, 2018,” the statement said.
The amnesty, Mnangagwa said “also pertains to the cases that are before the courts where judgement is yet to be passed”.
Former Finance minister Ignatius Chombo and his Foreign Affairs counterpart Walter Mzembi lead a cast of ex-senior officials linked to G40 faction of Zanu PF fronted by Mugabe’s wife Grace currently facing a plethora of criminal charges related to corruption and abuse of office.