By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo has accused local banks of colluding with corrupt individuals to clean up ill-gotten wealth.
She the banks are guilty of accepting huge sums of money obtained through corruption, thereby legitimising the cancerous vice.
She said this while addressing a financial crimes indaba in Harare Monday.
“While banks and other financial intermediaries currently have a duty to ensure that for instance, due diligence is taken by investors coming to do business in Zimbabwe, it is a known fact that some of them are failing or neglecting to do this,” Matanda-Moyo said.
“Many banks continue to provide the corrupt with a haven to stash their dirty money. This loophole is due to both overall lax in enforcement of anti-money laundering regulations and the way that banks currently undertake due diligence. It goes without saying that the financial sector is a critical player in the fight against corruption,” she said.
Matanda-Moyo said she hopes the indaba will come up with strategies and actions to curb corruption in the financial sector.
“To ensure the achievement of these key objectives, we have structured this session in a manner that will address all the key developments in the sector,” she said.
“Money laundering and illicit financial flows have become the order of the day. We hear and talk about this daily. We read about it in the media daily and therefore we felt it important to have a specific discussion on illicit financial flows in Zimbabwe and how to foster anti-money laundering compliance. The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission will not hesitate to use its constitutional and statutory authority to arrest any perpetrators of financial crimes.”
Zacc, she said, has been receiving many reports of corruption in the financial services sector which in turn erodes public confidence in the banking sector.
“We even understand that in some cases, executives of local banks are stashing their money in offshore accounts. If you do not have confidence in an institution that you lead, then who do you expect to have confidence? This must stop forthwith and as ZACC, we will investigate this and expose the culprits,” she queried.
“Trust is very essential and if we are going to move forward, we really need to build trust. We are aware that corruption in the private sector is damaging the economy, and this must stop forthwith. We have noted some banks’ involvement as conduits of proceeds of ill-gotten money from the public sector. We are warning you that this must stop.”