Mnangagwa Out Of Touch With Modern Day Practices
Following the release of the much anticipated list of alleged foreign currency looters by President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday, Zimbabwe First (ZimFirst) has accused the ruling Zanu PF party of protecting their lieutenants who were involved in illicit financial flows under the protection of the former President, Robert Mugabe.
According to the published list, the bulk of the money was externalized through non-repatriation of export proceeds, payment for goods not received in Zimbabwe or funds deposited in foreign banks in cash or under spurious transactions.
ZimFirst leader, Dr Maxwell Shumba accused Mnangagwa of playing games with the people urging him to come up with a “proper” list with senior Zanu-PF members.
“In reaction to what President Mnangagwa had promised that he will name and shame individuals who externalized funds. The list unveiled on the 19th March is disappointing and an indication that President Mnangagwa is out of touch with modern day good business practices.
“Our position as ZimFirst is that ZANU PF officials are the major culprits that externalize money illegally. Those companies that were mentioned in the report pay taxes and whatever remains is their money to do business. Companies doing legit business should not be penalized. A list missing names of known ZANU PF culprits is fake and meaningless and shows how clueless the Mnangagwa regime is,” said the party in a statement.
ZimFirst further alleges that the publication of the list is a threat to the economy ‘because no investor would bring their money if they are not able to control its movement.’
“The message ED is sending to the world is that Zimbabwe is not open for business and investing in Zimbabwe can jeopardize the credibility of an innocent entrepreneur. It is a shame that ED and his ZANU PF 2.0 have decided to recklessly publish this list with scant details. Maybe these companies refused to be blackmailed into donating to ZANU PF and are being tarnished for their business’ ethical stance,” the statement further states.
Chinese nationals and big mining companies, where the government has interests, dominated the list of individuals and companies, who allegedly externalized huge sums of money released, prejudicing the troubled economy of almost $1 billion.
One of the leading individuals on the list is music mogul and Zanu-PF member, Elias Musakwa who is believed to have externalized more than $9 million.
In a Facebook post, MDC-T secretary for Finance and Economic Affairs, Tapiwa Mashakada dismissed the list as a Zanu PF public relations exercise to “protect real looters”.
“The fact that these companies are known means that the externalization was known and, therefore, not illicit. The Reserve Bank kept records of exporters who did not acquit. So it is dishonest for government to seek cheap political capital by publishing a list of names of companies who are in the official business of exports.
“What this shows is that the government has backtracked on its initial intention of exposing individuals involved in real illicit financial outflows. By publishing a list dominated by companies, the government is simply posturing and actually camouflaging and protecting real culprits who are the big wigs in Zanu PF. On top of the list should be those who externalized $15 billion,” said Mashakada.