Diamond miners shamed for externalising funds from Zim


Harare – Diamond miners in Zimbabwe’s controversial Marange fields have been “named and shamed” among companies and individuals that externalised funds and assets from Zimbabwe, with President Emerson Mnangagwa saying Monday only $591m of the targeted $1.4bn has been returned.

Authorities in Zimbabwe have always blamed externalisation of funds from Zimbabwe as the major cause of cash shortages in Zimbabwe. The country adopted a multiple currency regime hedged around the US dollar and rand in 2009, but this quickly back-fired in 2016 after currency shortages emerged.

Now the new administration of Mnangagwa has sought to recover funds and assets externalised from Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa issued a three-month ultimatum for the return of these funds at the end of last year and subsequently extended it by two weeks, with the extended deadline falling on 16 March.

On Monday, the government of Zimbabwe said only $591m of the targeted $1.4bn externalised in funds and assets had been returned. Mnangagwa’s new administration has also released the full list of those who did not heed his call to return externalised funds.

“Despite concerted efforts by authorities and banks to request these entities and individuals to account for the externalised funds, the entities or individuals failed, ignored or neglected to respond to the amnesty,” Mnangagwa said on Monday.

The list includes Marange Resources, Canadile Miners, Jinana Mining, Metallon Gold and Bindura Nickel Corporation as well as African Associated Mines. Marange ($54.2m), Jinan ($11m) and Canadile ($31.3m) were involved in diamond mining in the Eastern Highlands in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has since consolidated all diamond mining in the area, with the state owning half of the shares.

Other companies named include Simbisa Brands which operates Nando’s, Chicken Inn and Steers, which is listed as having externalised $101 000 in goods paid for offshore, but which were not received. Unilever is also named for having paid for $315 000 in foreign goods which were not received in Zimbabwe.

“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is ready to process transactions where the concerned parties can show proof of declaration and or repatriation of funds without prejudice given that the burden of proof lies with the concerned parties,” said Mnangagwa.

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