Zim anti-corruption tsar says billions siphoned
Harare(New Ziana) – An anti-corruption agency in Zimbabwe said on Tuesday at least USD$7 billion had been corruptly siphoned out of the country and stashed overseas by former and current leaders, including private companies and individuals over the years.
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said the loot had been identified in several countries, among them Switzerland, United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Spain and Mauritius.
She said the siphoned loot was mainly in the form of cash and properties that were acquired in these and other countries using looted funds from Zimbabwe.
Matanda-Moyo said Zacc was working with legal and other authorities in the countries where the loot had been identified to seize the ill-gotten wealth, and repatriate it back to Zimbabwe.
“Informally, we have now identified over US$7 billion worth of property and cash all over the world which were siphoned by our former leaders, current leaders, private sector and individuals,” she said.
“So this information we only got informally, so now we have to formalise the process so that we start the processes of repatriating the monies back home,” she added.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has singled out fighting corruption as one of his top priorities since taking office two years ago, and several senior officials – including a cabinet minister – have been arraigned in the courts on graft charges.
As part of the fight, he revamped Zacc and gave it arresting and other powers in order for the agency to be effective in combating corruption.
Special courts have also been opened throughout the country to try corruption cases, to ensure these are speedily dealt with.
The vice is deeply rooted, but more and more cases are now being exposed and taken to court than in the past, a deterrence in itself.