OPPOSITION parties have welcomed calls by President Emmerson Mnangagwa for persons, who externalised money to return the loot within three months, saying the government must leave no stone unturned in accounting for the missing $15 billion diamond revenue.
Former President Robert Mugabe revealed the country lost $15 billion diamond revenue, which is widely believed to have been externalised by government officials working with rogue investors.
On Tuesday, Mnangagwa gave those who externalised money up to February to return their wealth or risk prosecution.
Opposition parties said Zanu-PF officials were largely responsible for externalising funds.
“Billions of dollars, particularly arising from the illicit sale of diamonds from Marange and Chiadzwa, were illegally externalised by these criminals. All this money should be brought back to Zimbabwe sooner rather than later,” MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said.
“The fight against corruption shouldn’t only target small fish. Even the big fish must be fried. Corrupt deals such as the release of $5 million by former Energy minister Samuel Undenge to Wicknell Chivayo for the construction of a power project that never materialised should be thoroughly investigated.”
People’s Democratic Party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said: “The challenge is that it can be just a money-laundering move if done selectively. The very same parties have been in government for a long time and they ought to know where it is. We need an audit on the diamond and other minerals revenue.”
Transform Zimbabwe leader, Jacob Ngarivhume said Mnangagwa should lead by example.
“Zimbabwe needs to come out of this corruption and patronage system, which Mnangagwa helped build,” Ngarivhume said.
Coalition for Democrats presidential candidate, Elton Mangoma said although he welcomed the move, those in Zanu-PF must be pursued with equal vigour.
“I hope he (Mnangagwa) knows where the $15 billion, that Mugabe spoke about, went to. I’m sure the money that is targeted is part of that $15 billion,” he said.
Joice Mujuru’s People’s Rainbow Coalition urged the government to name and shame all the culprits.
“Above everything else, can the government name and shame all the individuals and corporates, who are behind the misappropriation of mineral proceeds of $15 billion, which is yet to be accounted for?” coalition’s spokesperson, Gift Nyandoro asked.
Last year, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, John Mangudya said $1,8 billion was externalised in 2015 and out of that amount, $1,2 billion was siphoned out by corporates, with outward individual remittances accounting for the balance.