Zimbabwe: Ultimatum for Externalised Funds - 'We Want a Holistic Approach,' Mnangagwa Told

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe's main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, has called for a holistic approach in fighting graft after the government issued a three months moratorium for the recovery of funds siphoned from its coffers.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced on Tuesday a 90 day moratorium for the return of funds siphoned out of the country by individuals and corporations during ex-president Robert Mugabe's reign.

President Mnangagwa said 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 said.

Mnangagwa, who took over from long ruling Mugabe last week after a military intervention, said the operation had discovered that huge funds were illegally externalised.

But, according to the MDC spokesperson, Obert Gutu, the operation should be inclusive and non-political.

"The MDC advocates for a holistic and all-embracing fight against the evil of corruption. This fight shouldn't be motivated by any political and/or factional considerations. It has got to be a thorough and complete clean-up exercise that should send out the message, loud and clear, that corruption will never, ever be tolerated," said Gutu.

Gutu said that graft had become a "public secret that, over the years, top politicians and other well-connected individuals illegally externalised huge amounts of money".

He said that some of those who had allegedly taken money from the government bought themselves houses outside of the country.

"Some of these criminals have actually gone ahead to buy and/or construct expensive mansions in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Dubai and Hong Kong, using the proceeds from these externalised funds," said Gutu.

He said that the campaign to combat graft should not only "target small [the] fish" but "even the big fish must be fried".

Gutu called for the investigation of former energy minister Samuel Undenge for allegedly realising money to businessman Wicknell Chivhayo for the construction of a power project that never materialised.

Gutu also said that his party was not going to tolerate empty promises, adding that "the government should walk the talk".

Source: News24

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