The government list of externalized funds shows that nearly 70 percent of illicit financial flows (Funds externalised to foreign banks in cash or under spurious transactions) from Zimbabwe were received by China.
According to the calculations, 109 individuals and organisations, which is 69.4 percent of illicit financial flows were funds externalised to China whilst Botswana received from 12 participants, which is 7,6 percent.
Illicit financial flows documents have been released by the government after President Emmerson Mnangagwa gave warning that he is going to name and shame those that would have not taken heed of the amnesty call to return externalised funds from Zimbabwe.
The documents reveal a list of over a thousand individuals and organisations that have externalised funds amounting to US$826,503,404.
Migrants from China, who have been increasing in the past years have been arrested of externalising thousands of the most needed US dollars from Zimbabwe before.
In 2016 a Chinese national was arrested trying to extenalise $32 000 to China and this came after two other Asians were also caught at the then Harare International Airport in 2015 on a mission to externalise $105 000 to the second largest economy in the world .
“The temptation or challenge of externalisation of cash or foreign exchange is high in economies like Zimbabwe that use foreign exchange as its domestic currency, especially at a time when business sentiment is low coupled by a strong US dollar and low productivity,” the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya quoted by the Financial Gazette.
Economists blame the externalization of funds for the current cash challenges that have resulted in the use of the bond note in Zimbabwe while the central bank is encouraging exports to produce the much needed foreign currency in the country.
Besides China and Botswana, money was also being externalised to countries such as UK, USA, Denmark, Mozambique, Ghana, Portugal and Mauritius among others.
State owned parastatals and enterprises such as Netone, Sunday News as well as the Chronicle were also named on the list that is categorized to funds externalised through non-repatriation of export proceeds, funds externalised through payment of goods not received and also funds externalised to foreign banks in cash or under spurious transactions.