CHINESE companies and individuals make up the biggest chunk of looters outed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government Monday.
After a three-months moratorium and a two-week extension for those that spirited funds illegally out of the country, Mnangagwa released a statement to which over a thousand individuals and companies were named and shamed for circumventing procedures to take money out of the country.
The biggest alleged Chinese looter cited on the list is Jinan Mining which is charged with externalising about $333 million.
“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.
“It is against this background that the authorities have no other recourse to cause these entities and individuals to respond other than to publicise the names of the entities and individuals so that the concerned parties take heed of the importance of good corporate governance and the legal obligations of citizenry,” Mnangagwa’s statement read in part.
China has been described by the Zanu PF government as Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend and Mnangagwa’s predecessor Robert Mugabe adopted the Look East Policy to cement relations with the Asian economic behemoth.
At the height of Mugabe’s dispute with the West, Chinese nationals and businesspeople trooped to Zimbabwe while government signed what were then passed off as “mega-deals” with the Beijing government.
Mnangagwa has however, changed tact after taking over in November last year on the back of a military coup that deposed Mugabe and with it likely the privileges that had been accorded to the Chinese.
There have also been complaints of unfair labour practices against the Chinese as well as hitherto unproven claims of externalisation.
Chinese companies and nationals have also been accused of using illicit methods to bring in materials for construction, labour and other things as conduits to cart away to the Asian country much needed US dollars from Zimbabwe leaving the economy on edge.
In the diamond mining sector from which Mugabe claimed Zimbabwe had lost more than $15 billion, Jinan Mining that was partnering the military is fingered along with Mbada Diamonds.