AT least $300 million out of the $1,3 billion externalised by some individuals and firms has been repatriated, as the deadline of the moratorium to bring the money back ended yesterday, and the list of those who defied the order will be published on Monday.
This was said by President Mnangagwa while addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters at Lortondale Primary School in Bubi, Matabeleland North Province yesterday.
“Mbavha dziya dzakange dzatora mari muno dzichiendesa kunze nevamwe vakadero vamunongoona kuti vakadero vakatenga dzimba kunze uko takati ngadzidzoke. I gave them three months,” he said.
“We have 1 166 cases of externalisation, now we have three categories. One category has returned the money and we thank them and we will not publish their names. They have returned $300 million back to the country. The second category we are still negotiating how they will return the money, with others saying its tied up in properties and other investments and those again we will not publish their names.
“The value of the money held up in those circumstances is around $680 million.”
President Mnangagwa said the last category concerned those that had not heeded his calls to return the money.
“These ones have remained quiet, but we are saying come and we negotiate how you will return the money, but they have not responded positively to our calls,” he said.
“We will publish their names on the 19th of this month and also indicate how much they have externalised. So, this is part of my last warning to those who have externalised, big or small.”
President Mnangagwa gave people that externalised a three-month moratorium that ended on February 28 to return the money.
He then extended the deadline to yesterday following which he would publish the names of those who fail to return the money. President Mnangagwa also told the gathering that his Government was geared towards economic development.
“The challenge we have is to build our country,” he said.
“We must make this country a middle income country by 2030. Workers should be able to own properties, own cars and that the roads are there, ICTs are there, the infrastructure is there, agriculture is there, industries is working.
“Now the mantra is Zimbabwe is open for business.”
President Mnangagwa said Government was inundated with investment inquiries and had received investment commitments of over $3,1 billion in the first three month of his Government.
He said Government had embarked on various programmes that included Command Agriculture and infrastructure rehabilitation to improve the people’s livelihoods.
“We are saying from now on we must sit together – the public sector, the private sector, the communities and say this community, what would you want your Government to do for you?” said President Mnangagwa.
“What are the challenges that face this particular community? Then you tell us, then we know what we must do for you.”
President Mnangagwa said his Government was people oriented and would not foist development programmes on communities, but would be guided by their needs and aspirations.
He said there was need to maintain peace if the country was to develop.
“We must be peaceful,” he said. “Our country can only develop under an environment of peace. I am saying peace, peace, peace, unity, unity, unity, love, love, love. Together, if we are united, together in a peaceful atmosphere, together we can build Zimbabwe. No one but ourselves can build Zimbabwe.
“We are saying Zimbabwe is open for business. Those out there in the international community come and investment in Zimbabwe. Opportunities are here.
“Come and invest in agriculture, come in production, come into mining, come into tourism, come into ICT come into education. But we know what is our national interest that we protect.”