Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly claimed that he has a list of individuals and companies that externalised money illegally into safe havens outside the country.
According to the Herald newspaper, Mnangagwa said this while addressing the 107th session of the Zanu-PF Central Committee meeting in Harare on Thursday.
Mnangagwa said that he was ready to “name and shame” the culprits if they failed “to repatriate the money within the prescribed three months”.
Mnangagwa last month gave a three-month ultimatum for the return of funds siphoned out of the country by individuals and corporations during former president Robert Mugabe’s reign. This was seen as Mnangagwa’s first step to stem graft and revive the country’s moribund economy.
Mnangagwa said at the time that those who returned their illegally earned monies were going to be pardoned unconditionally. The amnesty period was set to run from December 1.
“Upon expiry of the three-month window, the 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,” Mnangagwa was quoted as saying at the time.
Mnangagwa, who took over from long ruling Mugabe in November after a military intervention, said the operation had discovered that huge funds were illegally externalised.
Mnangagwa said he was ready to crack down hard on graft.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe indicated that money held by Zimbabweans in offshore accounts was at least $1bn last year, the Source reported.
The southern African nation’s central bank toughened up controls on offshore investments after it had lost $1.8bn the previous year in illicit financial flows.
More than a third of the lost money was by individuals.
At least 280 Zimbabweans and corporates were named in the Panama papers offshore account holders in 2015.