Zimbabwe’s security services have reportedly demanded that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s investigating arm, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) be moved to the President’s Office for it to effectively combat illegal financial transactions stoking inflationary pressures.
A report by The Zimbabwe Independent claimed that members of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), recently held a “heated” meeting in Harare over the financial situation which they described as a “national security matter”.
JOC consists of securocrats drawn from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS).
JOC reportedly expressed concern about illicit financial activities that have resulted in the black market forex rate rising to US$1:ZW$240 while the official figures stand at US$1:ZW$124.
The Zimbabwe Independent reported a high-level security official as saying JOC is of the view that the forex black market is a potential security threat. Said the source:
Three weeks ago there was a Joc meeting. Joc basically called FIU to order.
Intelligence demanded that FIU be moved to the President’s Office (CIO) because the forex black market is undermining the economy.
Some quarters in government are saying it is becoming a potential security threat.
So Joc is saying if FIU is failing to deal with the companies and people manipulating foreign currency exchange, give us the powers to act.
What this means is that FIU is going to become more brutal because they need to protect their reputation.
They (CIO) wrote a position paper arguing for the take-over of financial intelligence from RBZ.
They are saying FIU is not doing enough because these companies are committing crimes and no action is being taken.
The security bosses sought to understand why the FIU was ineffective in executing its duties.
There was an argument that the FIU has enough teeth guided by law to deal with the issue of financial indiscipline.
Early this week, the FIU froze bank accounts for four companies namely Transerv, Electrosales, Halsted Brothers Ltd and Enbee Store, for alleged money laundering activities.