One of Zimbabwe’s most read newspapers is highlighting the need for policymakers and enforcement agencies to focus on corporate illicit financial flows (IFFs) in their anti-corruption drive.

The Zimbabwe Herald has welcomed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s tough stance on corruption, but is making the point that corporate as well as political corruption needs to be curbed if the country is to grow its economy.

Anti-corruption strategy

The Zimbabwe Herald’s chief correspondent, Davison Kaiyo, says corporate corruption through IFFs is one of the biggest challenges Zimbabwe faces to overcome the twin evils of growing inequality and unemployment.

He is urging the newly appointed Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to work closely with the government and monetary authorities to come up with an anti-corruption strategy to curb IFFs.

Trade focus

Kaiyo says a lot has been said about public sector corruption, but little is being said about corporate corruption, and even less about corporate illicit practices such as tax evasion and avoidance as well as transfer pricing and trade misinvoicing, which have resulted in the country losing billions of dollars through IFFs.

In 2016, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe estimated that US$684 million was remitted outside Zimbabwe or externalised by individuals for various dubious and unwarranted purposes.

These include illicit remittances, offshore investments and the externalisation of export sales proceeds by corporates through individual accounts.