Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said the amount of money repatriated back to Zimbabwe has increased to $300 million from $250 million as he called on externalisers to heed the Government’s call before the lapse of the amnesty.
He issued a three-month moratorium soon after his inauguration last November for the return of all looted funds and assets.
The Presidential Powers (Temporary) Measures (Amendment of Exchange Control Act) regulations, SI 145 of 2017 gazetted on December 1, 2017 gave an amnesty in respect of the repatriation of foreign currency and assets that were externalised by commission or omission or under the liberalised Exchange Control Framework.
The moratorium elapsed on February 28 and President Mnangagwa revealed that $250 million had been brought back into the country.
He then gave a two-week extension to the moratorium ending on March 19.
Addressing Zanu-PF supporters at a rally held at Lortondale Primary School in Bubi, Matabeleland North, President Mnangagwa, issued a final warning to those externalisers who have ignored calls to repatriate the funds saying by Monday, their names would be published as well as the amounts they externalised.
He said those who have ignored the Government’s calls, will face prosecution and no status will be considered as everyone is equal under the law.
“Those who had taken money out of the country, those who bought properties outside the country, I said they must bring the funds back. I gave them three months,” said President Mnangagwa.
“We have 1 166 cases of externalisation, now we have three categories, one category has brought in the cash.
“We thank them, we won’t publish their names. They have brought in nearly $300 million,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Then second category, we are negotiating on how they will bring back the money tied on properties or securities outside the country, we are still working out how they will bring back the money and those too we won’t publish their names.
“The money is in the range of $680 million. We are discussing on a case by case basis how those funds can be repatriated.
“There are those who have remained quiet, we are saying come and talk to us and we agree on how they should return the money but they remain quiet. On the 19th of this month we will expose those ones and the amounts they externalised, we have their names on our files. This is part of my last warning to those who have externalised, big or small, the law levies everybody.”
Announcing the grace period last November, President Mnangagwa said Operation Restore Legacy which was launched by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces unearthed serious economic crimes.
“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,” he said.
Addressing delegates during the Zanu-PF Special Congress last December, 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.