THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Tuesday named nine individuals, which it says are the kingpins of facilitating illegal foreign currency transactions and money-laundering activities in the country.
So, the names of Rangarirai Guzha, Winston Guzha, Lloyd Mbonga, Rodrick Njiva, Nixon Murwira, Kudakwashe Hove, Admire Sithole, Pariet Kadembo and Evans Mutsakanyi have been forwarded to the responsible authorities for prosecution.
They add to the 18 companies named by the central bank in June, that were accused of abusing its foreign currency auction system.
The apex bank wants the nation to believe that those nine people are responsible for the currency dichotomy and the mismatch between the black-market rate and the official rate?
That the price mayhem we are witnessing is as a result of the actions of those nine? What a joke!
On the other hand, we have Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission chairperson, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo saying the major perpetrators of corruption in the country are the bigwigs.
It is not the first time she said it, and even the Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi has reiterated that the corrupt are the powerful, and that they have set up cartels in every sphere of our lives.
So the idea that those nine individuals are the kingpins is laughable. We think that the whole naming and shaming exercise is a gimmick meant to shield the real criminals responsible for facilitating illegal foreign currency transactions and money-laundering activities in the country.
How do they get the money to splash on the black market? What platforms do they use for their illegal activities? Where do they get the foreign currency for their dealings?
Some people big enough to access local cash and to manipulate systems are behind this and they certainly are not on the list released by the central bank.
The big fish are those in government, the ruling Zanu PF party, or their proxies. As a result, the central bank’s name and shame charade is pointless.
What is required is to give the anti-corruption bodies the necessary teeth in the form of adequate budgetary provisions, operational independence, and legal power as well as adequate staff that has the support of the government and committed to fight graft.
Zimbabwe needs laws that enable anti-corruption institutions to function. Instead of naming and shaming, we need prosecution and jailing without fear, favour or prejudice.
At his inauguration ceremony in November 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said fighting corruption would be top priority for his administration but evidence on the ground suggests otherwise.
RBZ’s list shows that there are plenty of sacred cows. These sideshows need to stop.