Zimbabwe is to introduce a new law which will force citizens with flamboyant lifestyles to explain how they got their wealth failing which they can be jailed for up to two years or be fined up to US$65 000 which will be payable in Zimbabwe dollars at the prevailing interbank rate.
The proposed law, the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill (2019), was gazetted yesterday and will give the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the police, powers to seek explanations from people who flaunt wealth with those failing to do so being jailed for up to two years. The property in question will be forfeited to the State.
The law is aimed at curbing corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing, among others.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made the fight against corruption one of his priorities since he came to power in November 2017.
While his message was heeded in the first few months, corruption seems to have gotten worse after Mnangagwa failed to put his foot down leading to speculation that he and his senior lieutenants could be at the centre of the graft.
Corruption is reported to be at the centre of the country’s major problems at the moment such as the shortage of fuel and electricity as well as the run-away exchange rate on the black market.
ZANU-PF compiled a list of the major culprits last year and it included senior party officials and members of Mnangagwa’s cabinet but nothing was done.
The party’s youth wing, which has received the backing of the women’s league and war veterans, has threatened to name the culprits.
New political commissar Victor Matemadanda also said anyone named should immediately resign and only resume his or her job after being cleared but so far none of those fingered has done so.
Lack of decisive action against corruption by Mnangagwa has left most people believing that he will not be able to turn around the country’s economy because of the current rot.
His Rwandan colleague Paul Kagame this week told Mnangagwa that for him to succeed in his reform programme, he must get the confidence of the people of Zimbabwe first.