Mnangagwa's list of looters deflating

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa, since assuming office on November 24 last year, has really tried hard to stamp his mark on the country’s politics.

He has been consistent in preaching about economic reform, peace and re-opening Zimbabwe’s business to the outside world.

It must be said that he has made mistakes too during this period. The mistakes have been a result of trying too hard to the extent of setting targets not consistent with the country’s current troubles.

In short, in spelling out his vision, Mnangagwa has set the bar too high and finds himself attracting negative reception to this in the case of failure to achieve these audacious targets.

Yesterday, government released the long-awaited list of alleged looters who had failed to heed Mnangagwa’s calls for the return of the loot under three-month moratorium which he announced in December.

After all the hype which surrounded  his tough rhetoric against graft, including his three-month moratorium on people who externalised foreign currency — which he said would help the government to recover some of the money that was stolen during former president Robert Mugabe’s controversial rule — it must be said with disappointment that the list is deflating.

Some of the people or institutions listed who include schools, hair salons and pharmaceutical distributors; surely do not fall in the category of looters.

Without doubt, what was released yesterday doesn’t hit you in the face. It’s a list containing names of companies that might pass off as brief case companies.

It also has names of nonentities who, with all due respect, do not qualify to be called looters.

What Zimbabweans were expecting was a list showing how the money was removed from local banks to foreign banks in foreign lands such as the Caribbean Islands, which are generally regarded as safe havens by those illegally moving the money.

It was also expected that the list would include the names of banks where the money is stashed, proprieties purchased and the countries were looters hid their assets.

Instead, a plain list giving the names and amounts involved was what was released — leaving many questions than answers for Zimbabweans who had waited with bated breath for the release of “looters” list.

This is a missed opportunity for ED’s government.

As far as the court of public opinion is concerned, Mnangagwa has failed to bare his teeth on corrupt officials, and most of them are found in Zanu PF.

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