Below is a graph generated in a 2017 report by the US National Bureau of Economic Research on the amount of global wealth placed in tax havens by households across the world. Usually such studies exclude poor countries to only encompass middle and higher income countries, however this report was comprehensive enough to include smaller economies to give us a full picture of the level of externalization across the globe.
According to the graph, Zimbabweans are the fourth biggest externalizers in the world, having externalized just over 60% of the nation’s GDP into tax havens. This number does not include Zimbabwean savings in countries that do not carry the designation of tax haven, Zimbabwean funds owned by duel citizens, citizens using fake identities, those using sophisticated financial vehicles or those holding gold or diamonds. So the reality is this number could be astronically larger than this to account for the over $24bil that has flown out of the country in the last 20yrs.
Now, with most Zimbabwean government officials blacklisted by sanctions in the western nations that control these tax havens, the question arises, who are these individuals who have externalized all this wealth?
They can only be high net worth individuals who have accumulated such wealth and have the sophisticated networks to externalize large amounts of money from the economy. These are individuals who either export and transfer price or those who get forex allocations from the reserve bank to import essentials and technology, then they externalize the over invoiced excess into tax havens.
It’s for this reason we challenge companies like Econet, Delta, Inscor, Mukuru, the Meikles group and others who have grown large investments outside Zimbabwe during a regime of exchange controls over the past 20yrs, to explain how they did it. We don’t hate our entrepreneurs but the nation is suffering due to externalization and corruption by entrepreneurs. NOTE: In 2016 Edward Mutambanadzo died fighting to expose externalization by Econet and Strive Masiyiwa