Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday gave economic saboteurs who have been externalising funds and assets three months to return the loot or risk prosecution.
In a statement, the President said Operation Restore Legacy which was launched by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces recently unearthed serious economic crimes which will not be tolerated by his Government.
When it launched the operation, the ZDF said it was targeting criminals surrounding ex-President Cde Mugabe.
The operation saw the detention of former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, who is facing abuse of public office charges and ex-Zanu-PF youth leader Kudzanai Chipanga who is facing charges of causing disaffection among the police force or defence forces as defined in Section 30 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
The two have since appeared in court and their cases are still pending.
“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 constitute serious economic crime against the people of Zimbabwe which the Government of Zimbabwe will never condone,” said President Mnangagwa.
“As a first step towards the recovery of the illegally externalised funds and assets, the Government of Zimbabwe is gazetting a three months moratorium within which those involved in the malpractice can bring back the funds and assets with no questions being asked or charges preferred against them.”
He said the period of the amnesty stretches from Friday this week to the end of February 2018.
“Affected persons who wish to comply with the directive should liaise with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for necessary facilitation and accounting.
“Upon the expiry of the three months moratorium, Government will proceed to effect arrest of all those who would not have complied with this directive and will ensure that they are prosecuted in terms of the country’s laws,” he added.
He said culprits should take advantage of the grace period and return the country’s wealth or risk being arrested.
President Mnangagwa’s statement is in line with his inauguration speech last Friday in which he promised to clamp down on corruption.