Nduduzo Tshuma in Harare
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said he knows the entities and people who externalised money and would name and shame them if they ignore the window provided by the Government for them to repatriate the cash.
Days into his presidency following the resignation of his predecessor Cde Robert Mugabe, President Mnangagwa last month granted a three-month moratorium within which individuals and corporates that externalised money and assets are expected to bring them back.
He said for the duration of the amnesty that will stretch from December 1 to February 28, 2018, the Government will neither ask questions nor prefer charges against those that illegally repatriated money or assets.
The President however said non-compliant individuals and companies will be arrested and prosecuted in terms of the country’s laws.
Officially opening the 107th ordinary session of the Central Committee at the Zanu-PF headquarters here yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the corrupt tendencies that gripped the country in the recent past will not be allowed to continue.
“I said under the new administration we have given three months for those who have taken money out of this country to bring it back,” he said.
“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.”
According to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe statistics, an estimated $3 billion was externalised between 2015 and 2017 to countries such as Mauritius and Botswana and the Far East.
Of the $3 billion, it is believed that about $1,8 billion was spirited away illegally, while the balance was expatriated through management fees, service fees, technical fees and royalties.
President Mnangagwa called on the party to provide leadership with people in mind and not for selfish gain.
“Let us be a party and leadership which has the people in mind, which puts the interests of the people we lead ahead of our own.
“In this regard, let us shun corruption and the temptations towards self gain and self interest. The corruption tendencies that had in the recent past gripped our nation will and cannot be allowed to continue,” he said. “We must thus deal with corruption within the party and corruption in all spheres of public life and business practices.”
Citing Tanzania’s founding father and President Julius Nyerere’s quote that, “Widespread corruption in high places breeds poverty,” President Mnangagwa said there was a need for a united approach to fight corruption.
“We cannot thus in all clear conscience ever condone or ignore corruption as it has a deleterious effect on our nation and impoverishes our people,” he said.
“It is time that we as a party pledge to fight this evil and join forces with like-minded Zimbabweans until it is completely eradicated from our society.”
President Mnangagwa acknowledged the support and solidarity the country received from Sadc and other international bodies along with sister parties within the region during the recent transition period.
“We commend how Zimbabwe was allowed to decide its course and resolve its matters as an independent and sovereign nation within the confines of its laws,” he said.
Going forward, the President said: “We call for the unconditional lifting of the political and economic sanctions which have crippled our national development.
“We realise that isolation is not splendid or viable as there is more to gain through solidarity, mutually beneficial partnerships which however recognise our unique national interest.”
President Mnangagwa reiterated that the Government will pursue a robust re-engagement process to fully affirm Zimbabwe’s belonging in the family of nations.
“The re-engagement strategy will seek to create new relations while holding steadfast to those countries that stood by us during our darkest years.
“In this regard, measures will be put in place to attract foreign investment and ensure that Zimbabwe is a place where capital feels safe,” said President Mnangagwa.
“We urge the leadership of the party to understand this new trajectory and explain it to our members when the need arises.”