Chenayi Mutambasere: ‘Kleptocracy and Apathy – How they Robbed Us’
Like most of us I am slowly coming out of the shock of what we are beginning to literally witness with our eyes precisely ‘How they robbed us!’
When I expressed my utter shock in a Whatsapp group some people called me out ‘We thought you already knew?’…. Yes I know in the past I have called the Reserve Bank a Money Heist and more recently I accused the Governor of running his own economy via the Central Bank.
All these assertions and yet still nothing prepared my heart at actually seeing the whole operation take place … Most shocking to me was the double edged sword of the lack of sophistication which pointed to the other edge of vacant legislature or judiciary in Zimbabwe.
It’s literally as easy as 1,2,3 to take gold and launder money in Zimbabwe… Before you can say EK714 , US$1 billion worth of Gold has left the country. And before you put your head down that night only US$90,000 has made it back … Now try explain this to my dear friend waiting in a dialysis queue , or the 10 year old appealing for US$500 for an urgent leg amputation and welcome to my world the anguish runs deep.
Ofcourse the ensuing radio silence from those that should act comes as no surprise to most of us. The custodians of regulation and the national purse are shockingly silent. Their silence loudly announcing complicity first, incompetence second and then lastly apathy of the highest order. ‘They Don’t Even Care About Us’.
But supposing they did what would be happening right now??
1. In the first episode it was alluded that there is a private jet that flies out with gold. This calls for urgent investigation to halt this process immediately. Who is authorising this flight , how much gold is it carrying and where is it going?
2. Zimbabwe Miners Federation boss must be investigated and relinquished from her post until investigations are completed. It is damning that having been previously charged with smuggling gold that she is once again at the centre of the same crime.
3. The Auditor General accompanied with ZACC should be undertaking a thorough audit of Fidelity Printers while it’s operations are suspended. Including the suspension of key officers while investigation continues .. Clearly heads must roll in this space.
4. For presiding over all this the Governor of the Reserve Bank must be forced to step down to allow a fully independent audit of the Central Bank.
5. They must be a national ban on individuals buying gold directly from artisanal miners. Anyone caught doing so must be sentenced to prison and a fine. Gold must only be sold through formal regulated channels.
6. As for the ‘large @ Ambassador’ he must be stripped of this title and charged under the Counter Terrorism act while being investigated through interpol and local institutions. There must be an interest in his personal wealth access to all of which must be suspended in line with Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism acts
7. The film shows clear lines of culpability that should only be argued through the courts.
Having said this it is clear the lines of culpability run deep and wide all the way down from the fish’s head. For perspective in the United Kingdom under the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism any offence committed via a financial service institution the executive team are personally liable and can be charged with prison and/or a fine. There should be no sacred cows when it comes to culpability anyone identified as being part of this process must be charged and fined in their personal capacity.
The outrage from Zimbabweans yes is about the expropriation of our precious minerals at a time when we need it most. Nearly half the population is currently identified as leaving in extreme poverty.
Most of us have had to leave our families to go and leave abroad in order to sustain our livelihoods while supporting family. Majority of our state hospitals are literally on their knees and plagued by high levels of infant mortality.
The other side of our outrage however for the rest of us right standing citizens is the association crime. There is a national association when it comes to crimes of international interest like Anti Money laundering and Counter Terrorism.
If Zimbabwe is deemed internationally of not having the right due diligence to counter these it increases the country’s risk profile. And this unfortunately makes it worse for everybody through your business or personal interests outside Zimbabwe. There is a stereotypical tag that will be attached to anyone associated with Zimbabwe.
Overall the documentary film has gone a long way to prove the systemic apathy towards addressing Zimbabwe’s problems. There is no one person in the current government who is genuinely interested in the welfare of citizens.
Such a person would not allow this to happen under their watch. The lack of outrage from any of the government ministers or institutions points to them in the very least being guilty of apathy. And not deserving public office.
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