According to Zimbabwean authorities, people who cannot explain where their assets came from run the risk of having their property confiscated, even if the court acquits them of corruption charges. The new operation is an “intensive lifestyle audit” of the rich, said Justice Loyce Matanda-Moyo, head of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.
The country is facing the worst economic crisis in more than a decade. Based on the Zimbabweans Statistical Service report with a population of 15.6 million, 63% live below the poverty line; abject poverty. 23 % of children in Zimbabwe are mal-nourished with a 785.5% inflationary rate in May 2020. This type of inflation is referred to as galloping inflation. Public anger about poor service and corruption is increasing.
“This is an intensive lifestyle check of some rich people. They must submit their invoices for the goods or services they provide and they must match the value of the property they have purchased. We will also check whether these people or their companies have paid tax “Judge Matanda-Moyo said on Sunday in Zimbabwe.
This operation uses the power obtained by the Commission in July 2019 to find an explanation of how people make their wealth – known as an unexplained wealth system. Investigators can contact the Supreme Court to report their assets. However, if this does not happen, their property will be confiscated automatically.
Zimbabwe is not the first country to shift the burden of proof by asking people to explain the source of their wealth. Ireland and the United Kingdom have changed their laws to introduce asset orders that were not completed in 2017.
Corruption watchdog Transparency International recently discovered a case of coronavirus abuse in Zimbabwe. The organization says the price of medical care is too high, which indicates the possibility of corruption. Subsequently, the country’s health minister, Obadiah Moyo, was charged on Saturday for abuse of office in connection with the contract. He is expected to appear in court again in July.