Money laundering, lawyers and President’s intervention in Zimbabwe

Publication Date02 May 2017
Date02 May 2017
AuthorProsper Simbarashe Maguchu
SubjectAccounting & Finance,Financial risk/company failure,Financial compliance/regulation,Financial crime
Money laundering, lawyers and
President’s intervention
in Zimbabwe
Prosper Simbarashe Maguchu
Department of Public International Law, Justus Liebig University Giessen,
Giessen, Germany
Purpose This study aims to analyse the effects of the Presidential Powers (Temporal Measures),
amendment to the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act to include legal practitioners under the list
of designated non-nancial business and professions.
Design/methodology/approach The study is a textual analysis of anti-money laundering legislation
[anti-money laundering (AML) legislation] within the context of legal practice in Zimbabwe.
Findings The amendment put Zimbabwe on the international standard in the ght against money
laundering, as legal practitioners have become a soft target for money laundering. Despite its noble aim, in
Zimbabwe there is anecdotal evidence that the AML legislation turns lawyers into watchdogs or law
enforcement agents. On the contrary, the amendment prevents lawyers from falling to the mercy of organised
criminals and money launderers. Furthermore, there is a dearth of empirical research that can demystify the
impact of some of the provisions of this law on contested issues, such as legal professional privilege.
Research limitations/implications This study aims to outline the rationale for anti-money
laundering policy and law. This study will analyse how the issue has been approached in other jurisdictions
such as England and Wales. The paper will then try to establish coherent principles in the prevention of money
laundering. This study will also suggest a number of recommendations as to how Zimbabwe could approach
some of the issues while still considering the need to balance competing inuences of legal privilege and
money laundering regulations.
Practical implications The paper will bring this issue to the fore and initiate an informed debate, as
well as provide practical talking points for legal practitioners to embrace the AML regime and to engage
policymakers on the issues that need reform.
Originality/value This paper provides the rst in depth analysis of the money laundering legislation in
the legal fraternity in Zimbabwe and goes to offer practical tips and entry points on the application of the
regulations or for advocacy towards any reform as might be needed.
Keywords Zimbabwe, Money laundering, Legal practitioners
Paper type Case study
President Robert Mugabe through the Presidential Powers (Temporal Measures) Act
amended the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act[1] (the Act) to include legal
practitioners among the professions and institutions that should take certain measures to
avoid being used in money laundering. As a result of this amendment, legal practitioners
joined the list of designated non-nancial business and professions who should comply with
the key “rules” that regulate money laundering. This entails, inter alia, a legal practitioner to
report suspicious transactions by his or her client, to apply Customer Due Diligence (CDD) or
know the customer procedures, keep monitoring clients and specied activities and to
provide education, training and awareness within rms.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Journalof Money Laundering
Vol.20 No. 2, 2017
©Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JMLC-01-2016-0004

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