No pardon for fugitives – Mugabe

Ngoni Chanakira

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has ruled out a blanket pardon for individuals accused of various misdemeanours including externalising foreign currency. He told the annual gathering at the National

Heroes’ Acre in Harare on Monday that even his relatives would be brought to book if they were found with their hands in the till.


Several individuals, especially from the troubled banking sector, have fled the country after being accused of, among other crimes, externalising foreign currency.


They include NMB Holdings bosses Julius Makoni, James Mushore, Otto Chekeche and Francis Zimuto, Barbican Holdings founder and chief executive officer Mthuli Ncube, Africa Resources Ltd (ARL) mogul Mutumwa Mawere and ENG Asset Management’s Gilbert Muponda.

President Mugabe said the law should be allowed to take its course against wrong doers.


Prominent business-man and Zanu PF cen-tral committee member James Makamba and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Christopher Kuruneri are currently in custody awaiting trial for allegedly externalising foreign currency.


Makamba is said to have flouted foreign currency regulations as a director of Telecel Zimbabwe while Kuruneri is said to have done so to build his “seven-bathroomed” mansion in South Africa.


Self-appointed black empowerment activist and Native Investments Africa tycoon Phillip Chiyangwa, who hails from President Mugabe’s village in Zvimba, is out on bail after being accused of falsifying information and obstructing the course of justice in the ongoing $60 billion ENG saga.

Another political heavyweight and indi-genous women empowerment activist Jane Mutasa spent a few nights in the cells on accusations of violating the RBZ foreign currency regulations as a Telecel director. She pleaded guilty and was fined.


Analysts said Presi-dent Mugabe had hammered the last nail into the coffin of those that were prepared to admit guilt and return their loot.


Insiders told businessdigest that Ncube and Makamba had already pledged to return “exported” money in return for their freedom in Zimbabwe.

RBZ governor Gideon Gono confirmed that “some individuals” had contacted him to try and seek his help.


He, however, said the issue was very sensitive and only President Mugabe had the prerogative to pardon fugitives.


“Submissions of pleas for a general amnesty for those who violated various exchange control regulations continue to flow to the Reserve Bank,” Gono said.

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