Panic as ED targets cash barons’ accounts

BOGUS businesspersons operating briefcase companies that fed on government tender manipulation and kickbacks to amass wealth are reportedly in panic mode after the State said it would use the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) to sniff into their fat bank balances in search of ill-gotten wealth.

BY BLESSED MHLANGA

The law, which will be gazetted today, will empower government to seize unexplained real time gross settlement (RTGS) transactions, balances, fixed assets and goods which have no forensic trace, highly-placed sources in government said yesterday.

The sources said government expected to seize over $2 billion both in liquid and fixed assets held mostly by former Cabinet ministers, top government officials and private investors as President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime goes after an alleged corruption cartel manipulating foreign currency markets.

The central bank will be crucial in the fight, as it has been tasked with monitoring unexplained RTGS movements mainly used to mop up foreign currency from the market, a senior bank executive, who declined to be named, said.

“Zimbabwe is one of the few countries where a person can just receive $20 000 into their account and no red flags are raised. The economy is reeling because of money-laundering. So this law, from where we understand it, will deal with illicit financial flows,” another banker said.

Information ministry secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana confirmed the move, saying the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) would get the teeth to bite.

“The President has invoked his (presidential) powers so that the law enforcement agents such as police, the NPA and Zacc have more teeth to compel suspects to explain their wealth. Those who fail to give satisfactory answers risk forfeiture of assets or monies,” he said.

Acting Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi recently said the fight against corruption was being held back because the cartel had its claws in the top echelons of power.

Hodzi said some top-ranking police offices, prosecutors, judges, journalists and political figures were deeply involved with these cartels, making it sophisticated to break the puzzle.

Lawyer and former Finance minister Tendai Biti was, however, sceptical about the new law, saying he feared that it was not motivated by a genuine desire to fight corruption.

“It is akin to expecting a mosquito to cure malaria, we can’t expect the leaders of the cartels, those responsible for looting foreign currency through fuel, command agriculture, diamonds, chrome and creating RTGs balances to be able to fight corruption,” he said.

Biti said the fight against corruption in Zimbabwe did not need new laws, but, instead, there was need to ensure that the State was not captured by corrupt individuals and arms of law are independent to be able to discharge their duties.

“You don’t need new laws because the current laws are sufficient to deal with corruption. What is needed is to ensure that the arms are free from Executive influence and State capture. Real corrupt people are not arrested because they are connected,” he said.

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on: news@alphamedia.co.zw


12 Comments

  1. But we have people who are immune to these investigations and arrest and they will keep bleeding the economy because they are connected and related to top politicians !! An amount like 20 000 dollars is very small to invite ZACC investigations !! This is going to fuel corruption like the case of roadblocks during Mugabe’s era !!

    1. Biti put is succinctly. It is an insult to common sense to expect mosquitoes to be at the forefront of eradicating malaria. With all those corrupt criminal cartels surrounding the Presidency this makes all these high sounding intentions cheap empty talk and barking with no bite. The RBZ hierarchy is just too tainted to be taken seriously.

  2. lets start there mr chambati until we reach those believed to be the target

  3. first start with yourself mr president then your sons ozozuyz kune vamwe

  4. Start with whoever all we want is to see all this coming to an end

  5. Start with the 15 billion which disapeared then those that you gave 100days to bring back externailised money. Then we come to your ministers then shops that are hicking prices for nothing.

  6. Lets see the operation of the new law and then judge it from its results . It sounds a good law . The Biti view is an opposition view coming from an opposer .He is bound to see everything from an opposing view as long as its done by ED’s government . What Biti and opposition team does not realize is that they will be de-campaigning themselves in the long run when good results come out of the things that they condemn. The law should start with whoever and not select who to start with .

  7. Yes, pleeeeeze ! Just drive around Umwimzidale and stop off at each mansion and ask the questions !!

  8. what people say, do what you have to do E.D and lets see results. The same people who accuse you as a mosquito will praise you if you succeed. So do what you think will turn around the economy and we judge you at the end.

  9. Comment…Its a good move if it targets everyone in the game.Show your powers Mr President the price increases are unjustified

  10. This will be just another pure waste of time by ED. The moment he failed to act on the externalisers list that he had promised to deal with I knew it was the end of all hope

  11. Takambotaura kuti matsotsi hokoyo neshumba mukafunga kuti kutamba. I did my math and discovered that the government is very rich while the nation is suffering! Add more than three billion owed to the government in taxes and more than two billion owed by matsotsi! That is a lot of money. I think this is a very good idea because those who were subotaging Ed’s plans were very effective because they had too much money so they were very powerful. So the government must confiscate all those stolen riches and solve two problems.

Comments are closed.