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Zimbabwe Loses Over $1.8 Billion Annually to Corruption

Zimbabwe's Prosecutor General, Loyce Matanda Moyo, has disclosed that the country is losing over $1.8 billion every year to corruption, highlighted during her speech at the Financial and Asset Recovery Training workshop for law enforcement agents. This event was organized in collaboration with the International Centre for Asset Recovery.

Wilson Waison

Matanda Moyo emphasized the gravity of illicit financial flows which drain the national economy of critical revenue, undermining sustainable development and worsening the living standards of the Zimbabwean population. "Such illicit financial flows are unacceptable and bleed the economy of revenue meant to promote sustainable socio-economic development and the betterment of the livelihoods of all Zimbabweans," she stated.

The announcement comes in the wake of new sanctions under the Global Magnitsky action, targeting 11 individuals and several entities connected to corruption charges. These sanctions aim to impose significant consequences on those engaged in severe human rights abuses or corruption while protecting the U.S. financial system's integrity.

High-profile figures including President Mnangagwa, accused of gold and diamond smuggling, and his wife, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, alleged to facilitate her husband's corrupt activities, were among those designated. Additionally, prominent business magnate Kudakwashe Regimond Tagwirei and several high-ranking security officials like Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and Defense Minister Oppah Muchinguri have also been implicated.

The Prosecutor General highlighted challenges within the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), suggesting that corruption there contributes to these financial leakages. She explained how reforms have made it difficult to smuggle cash through borders, but collusion with Zimra officials remains a loophole.

"These illicit flows leave the government with scant resources for development and providing essential services such as health and education," Matanda Moyo added, noting the disproportionate impact on ordinary citizens.

The workshop, according to Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission Chairperson Michael Reza, is crucial for enhancing the nation's anti-corruption measures. "This workshop is a significant step in operationalizing strategies we've developed to combat corruption and manage asset recovery more effectively," Reza remarked.

In partnership with the International Centre for Asset Recovery since 2019, Zimbabwe has aimed to bolster its capabilities in financial investigations and asset recovery, a collaboration that was initially formalized in April 2020 and renewed in December 2023.

Reza also commented on the pervasive nature of corruption, describing it as a "global menace" that thrives without robust regulatory institutions and transcends economic or democratic conditions, urging stronger actions to disrupt these illicit flows and ensure criminals cannot profit from their crimes


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