‘Fight ter­ror­ism, money laun­der­ing’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Leonard Ncube Vic­to­ria Falls Re­porter

CROSS-BOR­DER crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties such as money laun­der­ing and fi­nanc­ing of ter­ror­ism have neg­a­tive ef­fects on so­cial ameni­ties as re­sources end up be­ing chan­nelled to­wards state se­cu­rity, Act­ing Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa said yes­ter­day.

Of­fi­cially open­ing the 16th Eastern and South­ern Africa Anti-Money Laun­der­ing Group (ESAAMLG), in Vic­to­ria Falls, Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said coun­tries must col­lab­o­rate to fight ter­ror­ism and money laun­der­ing.

“We now live in a world where ter­ror­ism has be­come a con­cern for us all. Re­sources have to be di­rected to­wards se­cu­rity and de­fence leav­ing in­ad­e­quate fund­ing for so­cial ser­vices in­clud­ing health and ed­u­ca­tion,” said the Act­ing pres­i­dent.

He said ter­ror­ism and money laun­der­ing ride on tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments and the dam­age they cause is in­cal­cu­la­ble.

“No one, no so­ci­ety, no na­tion or con­ti­nent is im­mune to this threat. Rid­ing on tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments, im­proved trans­porta­tion, cheaper com­mu­ni­ca­tion plat­forms and glob­al­i­sa­tion of fi­nan­cial mar­kets, ter­ror­ism has taken a new di­men­sion in re­cruit­ing, reach­ing out, strate­gis­ing, at­tack­ing, elec­tron­i­cally trans­fer­ring money and shar­ing knowl­edge with ease,” the Act­ing Pres­i­dent said.

He said the ASAAMLG was formed to limit the flow of fi­nan­cial re­sources to ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions and urged the re­gional body to col­lab­o­rate with re­spec­tive gov­ern­ments.

The Act­ing Pres­i­dent said the es­tab­lish­ment of a Ter­ror­ist Fi­nanc­ing Fact Find­ing Ini­tia­tive whose re­spon­si­bil­ity is to assess com­pli­ance of mem­ber states was a noble idea.

“I should re­it­er­ate the need to con­tin­u­ously strengthen our Anti-Money Laun­der­ing laws as this is of para­mount im­por­tance in light of the rav­aging ef­fect of il­licit fi­nan­cial flows on the for­mal econ­omy,” he said.

He said Zim­babwe had reg­is­tered sig­nif­i­cant progress in en­sur­ing a ter­ror free coun­try through the en­act­ment of the Money Laun­der­ing and Pro­ceeds of Crime Act in 2013.

ASAAMLG Fi­nan­cial Ac­tion Task Force ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary Mr Davis Lewis said anti-money laun­der­ing and counter ter­ror­ism fi­nanc­ing ini­tia­tives were a pri­or­ity for the re­gion.

Min­is­ters Patrick Chi­na­masa (Fi­nance), Cain Math­ema (Mata­bele­land North Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs), Kembo Mo­hadi (State Se­cu­rity), Clif­ford Sibanda (Of­fice of Vice Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa), Mce­bisi Jonasi (Fi­nance, South Africa), Martin Dlamini (Fi­nance, Swazi­land) were some of the se­nior Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials that at­tended the con­fer­ence. The week-long con­fer­ence ends to­day. Yes­ter­day min­is­ters were locked in Coun­cil of Min­is­ters closed door meet­ings fol­lowed by the 3rd Pub­lic-Pri­vate sec­tor di­a­logue meet­ings later in the day, to cap a week that started with the 32nd Task­force of Se­nior Of­fi­cials. — @ncubeleon

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