‘Money laundering threatens region’s economy’
EASTERN and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group (ESAAMLG) member states have been challenged to put in place stiff legal frameworks to fight money laundering and terrorism.
Officially opening the 32nd Taskforce of Senior Officials’ meeting here on Monday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Mr Willard Manungo said the African region’s economy was under threat from vices emanating from money laundering and terrorism financing.
The meeting which is being attended by officials from across Africa, is part of the week-long conference which started on Sunday and ends on Saturday.
“The Taskforce of Senior Officials’ meeting is an opportune time for member states to discuss the main problem of mutual interest, that’s how to prevent the region’s financial systems, economies and rest of the world from the evils of money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” said Mr Manungo.
He said Zimbabwe is also working on frameworks to fight such crime.
“The Government of Zimbabwe appreciates this legal opportunity as it coincides with the discussion and adoption of the country’s Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Finance of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and Proliferation Mutual Evaluation Report on the home soil.
“Recommendations will be used for reviewing and strengthening the country’s laws, institutional arrangements and effectiveness in fighting money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” he said.
“Having a comprehensive AML/CFT framework alone isn’t enough. What’s more important is how effective our implementation systems and their impact in reducing money laundering and criminal activities are.
“I urge member states to consider practical ways of how we can build effective systems to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.”
The Permanent Secretary said the need for development of effective capacity among ESAAMLG member states can’t be overemphasised in light of the ravaging impact of crimes and money laundering on socio-economic development.
As part of the programme, delegates will discuss 14 reports and the proposed implementation plan for the efficiency scrutiny recommendations.
Technocrats are attending closed door meetings which will culminate in the 16th Council of Ministers on Thursday.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to officially open the conference on Friday when Zimbabwe will also take over the chair of ESAAMLG.
The 3rd Public-Private sector dialogue will be held on Friday and Saturday. — @ncubeleon
Delegates follow proceedings during the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group meeting in Victoria Falls on Monday