Harare – The three-month grace period Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa extended to those who illegally took foreign currency out of the country expired on Wednesday, but Zimbabweans will have to wait a little longer before they know how much has been returned.
Following his election as president after years of former president Robert Mugabe’s rule, Mnangagwa promised to deal with corruption, including dealing with those who illegally took money outside the country.
He said his administration has a zero tolerance with regard to corruption and will use the full might of the law to deal with perpetrators.
Delivering the State of the Nation Address in December 2017, Mnangagwa said corruption remains the major source of some of the problems Zimbabwe faces as a country, and added that it should be dealt with according to the law.
‘No sacred cows’
“On individual cases of corruption, every case must be investigated and punished in accordance with the dictates of our laws. There should be no sacred cows. My government will have zero tolerance towards corruption and this has already begun.”
In line with the anti-corruption stance, he gave foreign currency “looters” a three-month moratorium to return the “looted funds.”
“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,” President Mnangagwa said.
However, following the expiry of the amnesty period, Zimbabweans will have to wait as Mnangagwa is still to receive an update on the returned funds from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya.
Mnangagwa told journalists on his return from the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday that he will announce how much money would have been returned after meeting with the RBZ governor.
Zimbabwe has been going through a cash crisis for the past two years, with authorities blaming illegal foreign currency dealings and a huge import bill, among others, as the sources of currency challenges.
This has resulted in the country struggling to pay for its imports, with the foreign payments backlog running into millions.