16 June 2019

Zimbabwe: ED Crafts a Law Against Unexplained Wealth

Photo: Innocent Makawa/The Herald
President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

GOVERNMENT is in the process of crafting legislation that will allow it to go after people with "unexplained wealth" President Emmerson Mnangagwa revealed Friday.

Mnangagwa told a Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) meeting at State House that the law will empower government to seize assets from people who fail to disclose the source of their wealth.

"As soon as the unexplained wealth legislation that we are currently seized with comes on our statutes, criminality will never seize to be an attractive venue," said Mnangagwa.

Last year, the government gazetted Statutory Instrument 246 of 2018, in which Mnangagwa warned government would issue an unexplained wealth order in respect of properties that have no full disclosure.

The clampdown is also in line with the fight against financial crimes that are harming the economy.

Mnangagwa said he expected the law to fully flush out economic crimes through the recently enacted Statutory Instrument on Unexplained Wealth Orders and illicit currency dealers.

The Zanu PF leader, who ahead of elections last year, campaigned on a promise to root out corruption, admitted success has been eluding him.

"The fight against corruption has taken off. Indeed it has been slow, but we are setting up the requisite institutions to continue fighting and we will not stop.

"It is not easy but it has to be done," said Mnangagwa.

Last year, government, through the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) began tracking all individuals whose income did not match their expenditure.

The law saw illegal foreign currency dealers facing up to 10 year jail terms while authorities will also have powers to seize ill-gotten wealth.

President Mnangagwa added that the law will also deal with all the unexplained company closures which left a lot of people jobless after working for years with no pay.

"Even in the private sector itself, corruption is rife and should be confronted in order to deal with the phenomenon of unexplained company closures that suddenly renders scores of breadwinners jobless after years of unpaid labour," he said.

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