Zimbabwe anti-corruption body starts audit of the rich
23 Jun 2020

Zimbabwean authorities say people who cannot explain where their wealth came from are in danger of having their assets seized even if courts clear them of a corruption allegation.

The new operation was “an intensive lifestyle audit” of the rich, said the chairman of Zimbabwe’s anti-corruption commission Justice Loyce Matanda-Moyo.

The country is facing its worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

There is mounting public anger over poor services and corruption.

“This is an intensive lifestyle audit on some of the rich people. They have to produce their invoices on what goods or services they rendered and this has to match the value of the acquired properties. We will also be checking if these people or their businesses were paying taxes,” Justice Matanda-Moyo told Zimbabwe’s Sunday News.

The operation is using powers the commission gained in July 2019 to demand an explanation for how people earned their wealth – known as an unexplained wealth order.

People under investigation can go to the High Court to account for their wealth but failure to do so automatically results in seizure of their assets.

Zimbabwe is not the first country to reverse the burden of proof, requiring individuals to explain the source of their wealth. Ireland and the UK both changed their laws to introduce unexplained wealth orders in 2017.

Read more at BBC News

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