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Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa offers amnesty for funds stashed abroad

Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa offers amnesty for funds stashed abroad

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Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has offered a three-month amnesty for individuals and companies to surrender public funds illegally stashed abroad.

In a statement, he said the government will prosecute those who fail to comply when the amnesty ends in February.

"Such malpractices constitute a very serious economic crime against the people of Zimbabwe," Mr Mnangagwa said.

Since taking office last week, he has pledged to crack down on corruption. "Huge sums of money and other assets" have been "illegally externalised by certain individuals and corporates," the president said in a statement.

"Those affected are thus encouraged to take advantage of the three-month moratorium to return the illegally externalised funds and assets in order to avoid the pain and ignominy of being visited by the long arm of the law," he added.

The move to recoup lost public funds is seen as an attempt to boost Zimbabwe's ailing economy which is half the size it was at the turn of the millennium.

The economy has struggled since land reforms were introduced in 2000.

These reforms saw white-owned farms redistributed to landless black Zimbabweans - and those with good political connections - which led to sharp falls in production.

Source: BBC