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"Zimbabwe Has Lost US$32 Billion Through Criminal Financial Flows" - Report

Legal think tank Veritas Zimbabwe claims that Zimbabwe has lost at least US$32 billion as a result of criminal financial flows.

Citing recent research on the shady movement of capital and wealth out of the Southern African country, Veritas said illicit financial flows are “stunting Zimbabwe’s economy, fostering corruption and enriching members of the élite at the expense of ordinary people”.

Although illegal domestic financial flows are occasionally included, illicit financial flows often refer to cross-border transfers or movements of money or capital connected with criminal activity. Veritas said:

The flows can be curbed, but it may be doubted if the Government has the courage and political will to do — its efforts to date have not had much success.

Several studies on unlawful financial flows in Zimbabwe observed that between 2000 and 2020, Zimbabwe is estimated to have lost US$32 179 billion as a result of these transfers.

In the shorter period between 2009 and 2013, the country potentially lost an estimated US$2.83 billion.

Zimbabwe lost an estimated US$3 billion in 2019, according to Loice Matanda-Moyo, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

Unlawful financial flows from Zimbabwe accounted for 13.9% of the country’s total trade between 1980 and 2018, according to a policy brief published by the Brookings Institute.

According to evidence from research findings, there are political and economic reasons for money to flow illicitly from Zimbabwe, Veritas said.

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