President Emmerson Mnangagwa could recoup millions of dollars in diamond proceeds that were siphoned to London if he mends Zimbabwe’s relations with Britain.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Mnangagwa would spearhead the mending of political relations with the regional and international communities.
“Zimbabwe remains committed to the values of SADC, the African Union, the United Nations and other international fora where it retains membership, as well as all its bilateral cooperation obligations with various Nations, groupings and institutions,” Chinamasa said in his budget speech.
“Under His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa’s new dispensation, Zimbabwe sets out to strengthen its re-engagement and cooperation with the international community, central to quickly normalising political relations.”
Mnangagwa’s first stop could be Britain which has already expressed interest in bailing out Zimbabwe if the conditions are right.
But instead of asking for aid or loans, Zimbabwe could ask Whitehall to help it recover its diamond money that was deposited in London banks.
British peer, Lord David Chidgey last year said that London was the destination of choice for the proceeds of the diamonds fields of Zimbabwe.
Contributing to the debate on money laundering, the British peer, who is on the advisory board of anti-corruption body, Transparency International UK, said: “How can we be taken seriously when the City of London is considered by many to be the money laundering capital of the world?
“London is the destination of choice, for example, for billions of dollars whisked out of the Crimea and the proceeds of the diamond fields of Zimbabwe and the bauxite mines of Guinea.”
Zimbabwe has already granted an amnesty to all those who externalised money to bring in back by end of February.