Amnesty to restore cash looted from Zimbabwe coffers

29 November 2017 - 06:49 By Reuters
Emmerson Mnangagwa. File photo.
Emmerson Mnangagwa. File photo.

New Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has opened a three-month amnesty for the return of public funds illegally stashed abroad by individuals and companies.

The government would arrest and prosecute anyone who failed to repatriate looted funds by March, Mnangagwa said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mnangagwa was sworn in as Zimbbabwe's president last week. He promised to tackle corruption, which was endemic under former president Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule.

"Those affected are thus encouraged to take advantage of the three-month moratorium to return the illegally externalised funds and assets in order to avoid the pain and ignominy of being visited by the long arm of the law," Mnangagwa said.

Zimbabwe's new president is under pressure to deliver, especially on the economy, which is in the grip of severe foreign currency shortages that have seen banks failing to give cash to customers.

After recovering under a unity government between the ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition from 2009 to 2012, the nation's economy has unravelled with the unemployment rate hovering above 90%.

Mnangagwa is expected to announce a cabinet this week, with all eyes on whether he breaks with the past and names a broad-based government, or selects old-guard figures from Mugabe's era.

An official at parliament said Mnangagwa had asked for curriculum vitae of Zanu-PF legislators on Tuesday as he moves to put the new cabinet in place.

Meanwhile, deputy parliament speaker Mabel Chinomona told the house that she had been informed by Zanu-PF that the party had recalled five legislators from parliament, indicating the five had been dismissed as MPs.

The members, all linked to the G40 group that supported Mugabe's wife, Grace, include former ministers Savior Kasukuwere, Jonathan Moyo and Ignatius Chombo, who is facing corruption charges in court.