Zim goes after “unexplained wealth”

Opinion Top Stories Zimbabwe

Makomborero Mutimukulu

“AS soon as the unexplained wealth legislation that we are currently seized with comes on our statutes, criminality will cease to be an attractive venue.”

These were the words of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month.

In a country where authorities have a proven history of failing to walk their talk, President Mnangagwa’s declaration did not cause tremors.

However, a few weeks later illegal foreign currency dealers are feeling hot under the collar as authorities have started going after “unexplained wealth.”

President Mnagangwa’s “new dispensation” has begun walking the talk albeit slowly.

“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 the Zimbabwean leader recently.

One thing the country’s authorities are doing as they fight the corruption scourge is going after “unexplained wealth.”

Also have a look at: Zim’s corruption fight under scrutiny

On Friday the country’s biggest daily The Herald reported that a Harare man is in a tight spot after the High Court ordered him to explain the source of US$1 048 533 in his bank account.

“Mr Jairos Giles (41), who earns US$1 600 a month as managing director of Lapstar Logistics, has the burden to convince the State that his transactions and source of funds were clean, after the law was invoked to look into his income in line with the law, according to Section 37B as read with Section 37H of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Amendment of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and Exchange Control Act regulations (Statutory Instrument 246 of 2018),” reads the report.

“The State suspects Mr Giles is involved in illegal foreign currency dealings and investigations are underway to ascertain if the money and properties he acquired in a short space of time are clean.

“The High Court issued an order directing Mr Giles to hand over a written statement to the police’s Asset Forfeiture Unit explaining the nature of his business and how the US$1 048 553 got into his CBZ Bank account.”

As Giles carries his cross illegal foreign currency dealers in the streets of Harare, who also have some gigantic balances in their bank accounts, have worry written all over their faces, a ZTN snap survey revealed this morning.

“These guys want to finish us off, they are closing all the loopholes that have kept us in business. Why are they coming after us and not the big business who do the big deals?” said a female dealer who operates in the Central Business District.