Zim loses US$9b to corruption

Source: Zim loses US$9b to corruption –Newsday Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE has for the past five years lost about US$9 billion to corruption with the country only managing to recover a measly US$100 million in assets of the looted funds, it has emerged.

With Zimbabwe’s national budget averaging US$4,5 billion in recent years, it means that the US$9 billion lost to corruption in the last five years was enough to cover the country’s needs for two years.

 

 

Speaking at a Financial and Asset Recovery training workshop for law enforcement officers in Harare yesterday, Prosecutor-General Justice Loyce-Matanda Moyo said corruption had become endemic in Zimbabwe.

Participants at the workshop were drawn from the National Prosecution Authority, Financial Intelligence Unit, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

“It (corruption) is endemic and systemic and has permeated all known boundaries,” said Matanda Moyo. “Corruption knows no boundaries.

“It is estimated that Zimbabwe loses about US$1,8 billion annually due to corruption.

 

 

“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.

“What hurts the most is the fact that the ordinary citizenry is the most affected as a result of corruption. As Pope Francis rightfully said, ‘Corruption is paid by the poor’. It is, therefore, imperative that we shun all forms of corruption for the betterment of livelihoods for all,” she said.

Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chairman Michael Reza said the country had recovered US$100 million worth of assets bought from illicit proceeds in the past five years, representing a mere 1%.

 

 

“Since 2019, we have adopted a robust strategy to recover assets purchased though corruption proceeds and we have recovered more than US$100 million and the recovery is still ongoing,” he said.

Reza said a new approach is much needed to build and improve the capacity of individuals and institutions mandated to fight corruption in Zimbabwe.

“Corruption is a global phenomenon that requires global solutions due to the globalised nature of its activities and the networks of the criminals involved.

“It takes joint efforts at local, regional and international levels to win the fight against this menace and successfully recover the proceeds of crime,” he said.

“Here in Zimbabwe, corruption remains one of the greatest barricades to the resuscitation of an economic thriving Zimbabwe, and it hinders the prospects of the attainment of our vision 2030.

“The National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2020-2024 also has a specific objective on asset recovery and this is ample testimony of the importance of asset recovery in the fight against corruption.”

Zimbabwe is among countries that have high corruption levels according to Transparency International which placed Zimbabwe on number 152 out of 180 countries with a score of 23 out of a possible 100 in its latest survey.

Scores are rated from zero to 100 with countries close to zero being the worst in tackling corruption. The score is way below the regional average of 32 by countries in sub-Sahara.

The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public-sector corruption.

In the report, the organisation said countries that have registered significant gains on the index owe it to mechanisms put in place to fight corruption.

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