If the Zimbabwean government follows the regulations set forth by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) without prioritizing the protection of its investors, it is likely to lose them and encourage externalization.
It is important for our government to understand that there are countries with more severe financial scandals than Zimbabwe, but they still prioritize the protection of their investors and businesses through the simple principle of too big to fail.
A perfect example of this is Dubai, which is currently greylisted by FATF because they prioritize investment protection over unilateral FATF rules that are designed by the G7 to disadvantage the global South in favor of the West.
The west itself has tax havens and so called neutral terrotories like Switzerland, Caymen Islands, British Virgin Islands, Mauritius and the US's has Nevada, Delaware and others to facilitate the laundering of blood money, weapons proceeds from terrorists, CIA profits from drug trafficking and other criminal proceeds. And this is before pointing out that FATF never attempted to greylist the western financial system even after it crashed the global banking system in 2008 because they considered their economies as too important to be subjected to greylisting.
It’s well known that South Africa's gold industry was built off the back of gold mining under the crime against humanity of apartheid. Through it, apartheid companies control trillions of dollars in minerals, land and finance acquired from slave labor and dispossession achieved by genocide.
Additionally, companies like Old Mutual, Anglo America, De Beers, and Barlow partnered with the apartheid government in the State Security Council to destabilize and invade SADC countries in the border wars which killed over 600 000 SADC civilians, in their bid to defend apartheid.
After the ANC took power, they allowed these apartheid companies to continue with their activities and even deployed cadres into these corporates to insulate them from claims of reparations.
Today, these apartheid companies still possess the proceeds of genocide and openly launder their profits through the western banking system in South Africa, because they serve imperialist interests.
Due to the ability of South Africa and Dubai to protect capital and investors, Africa's billionaires and millionaires externalize their wealth into these locales for safekeeping. However, Zimbabwe, which is struggling to attract investors, is quick to block accounts and investigate its own billionaires based on mere innuendos, to please FATF.
We have yet to learn from South Africa, where corporations like McKinsey & Co, EOH, KPMG, ABB, and others were implicated in state capture corruption. Glencore was also implicated in the same commission and later admitted to bribery and money laundering in UK courts. Albeit, the South African government and western governments have not frozen the accounts of these companies.
Steinhoff lost over $20 billion of investor's money through fraud, and Illovo followed suit, but still, none of their accounts were frozen.
So, why is the Zimbabwean government seizing assets of its own business people based on mere allegations from a documentary? Does our government expect to retain investors and gain investment while betraying its few investors to please FATF, which as illustrated above, clearly does not apply money laundering rules impartially?
Our country will always be a victim of arbitrary sanctions and discriminatory Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws tailored to stop development in Africa, if our government is too weak to stand up against economic warfare and stop allowing itself to be weakened by the competitors' rules.
As Juan Zarate noted in his book, Treasury's War, FATF guidelines are not designed to stop money laundering and funding for terrorism. Instead, they represent a financial weapon designed to deprive competitors of the United States of funds to compete.
This is why the US and NATO openly fund terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram and ISIS; arm them with their weapons and invade countries like Libya for oil alongside some of these terrorists they fund. For them to openly control and sell the oil on the open market and bank the profits of their blood money in western banks without being listed by FATF. Is this not the definition of money laundering, funding for terrorism, and profiteering from terrorism?
Currently, the US government has given Ukrainian Nazis, who ascended to power via a coup, over $60 billion in funding to bomb Dombas and defend the corrupt coup government.
It's also alleged that the Al Sunna insurgents who are driving pogroms in Mozambique, have links to Qatar, which wants to stop Mozambique natural gas from competing with theirs.
Our government must stop trying to please FATF and instead focus on competing.
By Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare, Chairman of ZASM and Founder of Frontline Strat Marketing Consultancy.