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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 05 JUNE 2018 VOL 44 NO 64

PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

The National Assembly met at a Quarter-past Two o’clock p. m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER

ZIMRA ENGAGEMENT WORKSHOP

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  I wish to remind the House of the Parliament of Zimbabwe-ZIMRA Engagement Workshop, scheduled for Wednesday, 6th June, 2018 at the Harare International Conference Centre beginning at 0830 hours.  All Members must attend this important workshop.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA): Madam Speaker, I move that Order of the Day Number 1 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day, on today’s Order Paper have been disposed of.

          Motion put and agreed to.

SECOND READING

MONEY LAUNDERING AND PROCEEDS OF CRIME BILL [H. B. 4, 2018]

          Second Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the second reading of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Bill [H. B. 4, 2018].

          Question again proposed.

         HON. CHAPFIKA: Introduction

         In terms of Section 141 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Parliament is mandated to engage the general members of the public in its legislative processes and ensure that the interested parties are consulted about Bills being considered by Parliament. In fulfillment of this constitutional requirement, the Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Committee undertook public hearings on the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Bill, 2018 which was gazetted on the 9th of March 2018. The public hearings were conducted in Victoria Falls, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mutare and Harare from 27 May to 1 June 2018. The Bill, which seeks to amend the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act (Chapter 9:24) of 2013 so that it is consistent with international standards and in turn attract Foreign Direct Investment was widely accepted by the members of the public.

         Generals Sentiments and Observations Raised by the Members of the Public

         Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU)

         The members of the public supported the provision in the Bill which seeks to make the Financial Intelligence Unit an autonomous body, but however reiterated the need for the Unit to be a stand-alone or independent institution premised outside the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Members of the public pointed out that an effective Financial Intelligence Unit can make a significant contribution to combating money laundering and related crimes nationally and internationally if it is an independent institution. Members of the public noted with concern and alleged that the RBZ itself was playing a major role in promoting instead of preventing money laundering activities given its alleged role in sponsoring and funding the money changers on the streets of Zimbabwe and as such, the effectiveness of the Financial Intelligence Unit may be compromised if it remains a Department reporting directly to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. It was therefore recommended that the Financial Intelligence Unit be an independent institution reporting directly to a board and not to the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.  

         Appointment of Director-General of the Financial Intelligence Unit

         The Bill provides that the Director-General of the Financial Intelligence Unit shall be appointed by the Governor in consultation with the Minister. However, members of the public were of the view that the appointment of the Director-General be done by an independent board in consultation with the Honourable Minister responsible for Finance to ensure the operational independence of the Unit from the RBZ.

         Capacity of the Financial Intelligence Unit

         The Financial Intelligence Unit must be adequately resourced to enable it to perform its mandate effectively. Basically, the Financial Intelligence Unit must comprise of specially trained staff and be equipped with high-level computing facilities among other essentials and this may require a substantial budget for the Unit. Members of the public noted that the concepts of Money Laundering and Terror Financing matters are new and yet to be fully developed in Zimbabwe and as such, there is need to possibly appoint more senior police officers or create a mandate for the Financial Intelligence Unit to conduct further training of police officers and other key players who are to carry out such functions on behalf of the Financial Intelligence Unit. Their experience and qualifications may need to be enhanced to better equip them for the purposes of conducting such functions on behalf of the Financial Intelligence Unit. Therefore, the budget of the Financial Intelligence Unit should be commensurate with its size and the amount of data it is expected to receive, process and disseminate.

         Powers of the Financial Intelligence Unit

         The members of the public felt that the powers of the Unit as stipulated in the Bill were not adequate and commensurate with the nature of the mandate of the Unit at hand. It was noted that while the Unit will employ inspectors to examine and inquire on suspicious cases, members of the public were of the view that the Unit be given the powers also to block transactions and freeze an entity’s account for a limited time whilst investigations are being carried out to confirm the commission of money laundering activities. Currently, the Financial Intelligence Unit has to apply through the courts for an order to block or freeze an account which is not progressive as in certain instances the funds which are the subject of investigations would have already been disbursed or moved by the suspects before an order is issued.

         Nominee Shareholding

         The members of the public noted the need for the Act to provide a framework for disclosures of information of ultimate beneficial owners whose identity may be protected by Nominee arrangements which are governed by common law and such private arrangements may involve confidentiality clauses.

         Blacklisting of Offenders

         Members of the public proposed the inclusion of a provision in the Bill which legalises the blacklisting of persons and institutions found guilty of money laundering or other act of financing terrorism as is the case with credit ratings as part of measures to protect other financial institutions, designated non-financial businesses and professions among other service providers from such criminals.

         Certification by Financial Intelligence Unit

         Members of the public noted with concern the lack of compliance by most of the designated non-financial businesses, professions and financial institutions among other service providers to implementing the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financial Terrorism safeguards. In line with that, it is suggested that the Bill includes a provision requiring designated non-financial businesses and professions to acquire an anti-money laundering certificate or endorsement by the Financial Intelligence Unit that the non-financial business or profession has a sufficient and effective anti -money laundering and combating of terrorist financing framework in place.  Thus, it was recommended that a provision to empower the Financial Intelligence Unit to issue certificate of compliance to such institutions would go a long way in bringing these businesses and professions firmly under the ambit of the Financial Intelligence Unit and to assist financial institutions to better comply with the Act. These certificates may be issued upon satisfying prerequisites or inspection by the Financial Intelligence Unit of the entity’s Anti-Money Laundering controls.

         Legal Practitioners

         Whilst the importance of Attorney-client privilege to the legal profession is acknowledged, it cannot be denied that legal practitioners and legal practices are high risk areas in the battle against money laundering and financing of terrorism. The Bill should ensure that the Attorney-client privilege is not absolute but rather “is subject to such exceptions as provided for in the Anti-Money Laundering Act. It is thus recommended that if the Bill is going to protect disclosures made between legal practitioners and their clients, such disclosures should be clearly defined so as not to exclude legal practitioners from complying with obligations under the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act, including the obligation to report suspicious transactions and the obligation to carry sufficient customer due diligence (CDD).

         Politically Exposed Persons (PEP)

         The Bill under Section 7 (d) includes family member under the definition of PEP. However, given that the term ‘family member’ in the African context may have different meaning given the diversity of the family tree, it was recommended that the term ‘family’ be clearly defined as to the extent it covers.   

         Cryptocurrency and money laundering

         With the rapid advancement in technology and the digital financial system, in particular the semi-anonymous and decentralised nature of many cryptocurrencies such as the Bitcoin has drawn the attention of many authorities globally as fears rise that cryptocurrency could be used for money laundering and financing terrorism.

For the benefit of the members of the public; cryptocurrencies are a form of digital money which allow one to make purchases online. Unlike regular currencies, they only live online and are not backed, issued, regulated or controlled by banks and governments rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation. Cryptocurrencies are decentralised and run by a network of computers instead of a single person or a company. The money is stored in a digital wallet and kept in the cloud or offline on a PC and can be sent to someone via a computer or a mobile device like a Smartphone. These currencies are decentralised and use a cryptographically secured system to record transactions, manage the issuance of new units, and prevent counterfeiting and fraudulent transactions

         As a result of these risks associated with the transactions in cryptocurrency, members of the public felt that there was need to put in place systems to ensure that the Anti Money Laundering (AML) and the Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations enable the identification of individuals carrying out such transactions such as Bit coin transactions. It can be noted that the United States of America Treasury has already published guidelines in 2013 stipulating that although using cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin for purchasing legal goods and services was not illegal, the mining or trading of Bit coin as well as the operation of exchanges on which Bit coin is traded would fall under the label of “money service businesses” and would therefore be subject to the same Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer measures as other financial institutions. In this regard, members of the public recommended that such provisions be made within the Act in line with best practices.

         Committee Observations and Recommendations

         The Committee observed that the Bill was very important as it seeks to align the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act to be in line with regional and international best practice. As such, the Committee is recommending the following proposals to be adopted by the House;

Ø  That the Financial Intelligence Unit be an independent institution so that it performs its mandate effectively. In line with that and to ensure the operational independence of the Unit, the Committee recommends that the appointment of the Director General of the Unit be done by an independent body in consultation with the Minister and not by the Governor of the RBZ to ensure its effectiveness.

Ø  The Committee is also of the view that the Bill provides a framework for the disclosures of information of Ultimate Beneficial Owners whose identity may be protected by Nominee arrangements.

Ø  That the Financial Intelligence Unit be vested with the powers to block or freeze suspicious transactions for a limited time to allow for proper investigations to be carried out. The Committee is also of the view that the powers of the Unit also includes the certification of Designated Non-Financial Businesses, Professions and Financial Institutions among other service providers to ensure maximum compliance by such institutions.

Ø  Cognisant of the increasing popularity of the concept of cryptocurrency in most developing countries, including Zimbabwe, there is need for the Bill to consider ways and means to handle such complicated and sophisticated transactions to ensure that they are not subject to abuse. 

Ø   That the Bill incorporates provisions to address the spiralling parallel market for money and bring unlicenced currency dealers to book, especially the ‘money changers’ on the streets by ensuring that those caught are arrested and the proceeds are seized, forfeited, frozen and all financial organisations involved in such transactions are ruthlessly penalised.

Ø  That the RBZ facilitate the registration of more Bureau de Change and facilitate their access to foreign currency for the ease of the transacting public to avoid recourse to money changers when formal dealers are dry.

Ø  That, since Zimbabwe is a signatory to COMESA and the UN, it should operate and be guided by international best practices in terms of complying to Anti Money Laundering regulations on the international arena.

Ø  That if the Bill is going to protect disclosures made between legal practitioners and their clients, such disclosures should be clearly defined so as not to exclude legal practitioners from complying with obligations under the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act, including the obligation to report suspicious transactions and the obligation to carry sufficient customer due diligence (CDD).

         Conclusion

          In conclusion, on behalf of the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development, I submit the report to the House for adoption subject to the above recommendations being taken on board. I thank you.

          HON. NDUNA:  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I just want to touch on a few issues that have also been dealt with in the report.  Madam Speaker, included to money because we are endowed as a nation with ubiquitous amount of mineral wealth, I ask that we also include gold and our minerals in the issue of laundering as it relates to the Money Laundering Act so that whoever engages in such transactions and does not remit the same to Fidelity or the houses that are mandated in dealing with our minerals in particular gold, that person be held liable individually and severally by this Act.

          We are having – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] -

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Members.  People were listening to your debate Hon. Chapfika, so please you have to also listen to other debates as well.  Please proceed Hon. Nduna.

          HON. NDUNA:  Madam Speaker, I am alive to the fact that as a nation we are buying our gold through Fidelity and there is apportionment of bond notes and United States Dollars. As a result of this disparity, South Africa is buying our gold at a premium of more than 15% what we are offering our operators, artisanal miners, small scale miners and miners.  So, there is appetite and propensity to sell to those that reside in South Africa.  South Africa is buying a lot of our gold because they are offering a 15% more premium than is offered by Fidelity.  It is in that light that I ask that these people, if they do export our gold without first transacting it through Fidelity, they be held liable using this Money Laundering Act.

          Madam Speaker, there is what has been formed called Financial Clearance Bureau (FCB), I believe by banks and such other financial houses, with a hope that this FCB can ameliorate the plight of those banks in terms of making sure that people that have transgressed in other banks cannot open accounts with other financial institutions.  It is my fervent view that this FCB has not been formed by an Act of Parliament and it is criminal, both in its conduct and in its establishment.  So, by the coming in of the Money Laundering Act, this FCB should be a thing of the past because it is now being utilised to antagonise, especially us the politicians.  It is my thinking that as has been alluded to by the Chairperson of the Committee on Finance that there only be an Act of Parliament that arises after passing through Parliament and endorsed by Parliamentarians as opposed to some side plates being established for a sole purpose of antagonising and destabilising politicians.

          The issue of politically exposed persons, I think has been well ventilated and spoken about by the Chairperson of the Finance Committee.  I believe if we are cleared at that level and if the Money Laundering Bill has all that is enshrined in it in such a manner that after we have been cleared as politically exposed persons by that Bill, there need not be any further clearance by this FCB.  I will give you an example; you have a lot of people going to this FCB and claiming that there is some transaction between a politician or some high ranking official that has not been concluded and that any financial institution should view whoever this high ranking official or politician is with suspicion such that they do not have to engage in any financial transactions with them. This has seen people of such class being disadvantaged in terms of their inclusion in financial transactions.  That Section 7 (b), I think certainly should continue to be stand - alone in that Bill so that it addresses the concerns of us the politically exposed.

           I want to touch now on the methods of money laundering as it also relates to what occurred to me practically, how the people that are engaged in money laundering get to clean dirt money and bring it into Zimbabwe as clean money.  If you go, in particular to Borrowdale and such other very big suburbs and you see some people who are not there in the mineral sector or in other businesses but have got very big infrastructure and houses and you say to yourself how they have gotten this wealth.  It is ill gotten sometimes.  I got this advertisement one time through my secretary whilst I was in South Africa, where she said we needed to respond to a supplier of equipment at Marange Resources.  I spoke to her for about 10 minutes, before she convinced me that the margins of profit were quite lucrative and they were much more than 15%.  So, she convinced me with monies that I had outside the country to deposit such money into a company that was supposed to then supply the equipment to Marange Resources.  When I did that, that was the last time I saw that account.  It seized to exist, even with the financial arms and institutions that South Africa has; however, strong they are that account disappeared immediately.

          On inquiry and investigations, my money was traced back to Zimbabwe and having arrived in Zimbabwe in the form of gas, in the industrial sites of Workington and Masasa.  This money had now found its way into Zimbabwe after having been cleaned through gaseous operation.  When it then comes here, that gas is sold. It looks as though it is clean money, but this issue is there at Serious Fraud Squad and I hope that this Money Laundering Bill can be a panacea; it can be a treatment to such operations.  I ask and I make a clarion call that besides this Bill and the exempts of it, there be criminalisation of people that clean money through this Money Laundering Bill; through the manner in which I was defrauded, so that it does not befall anybody else in this House.  I lost half a million rands and I would not want that to befall any one of the Hon. Members in this House, otherwise they would go broke.  It is a miracle that I still stand here today before you and still have a little bit of money. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

          THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! There are some Hon. Members who may need to listen to what is being debated but there are others who are everyday having their own meetings here in Parliament.  It will make us spend the whole five years without knowing what is happening in Parliament, yet you are in there.  Hon. Member, would you please proceed?

          HON. NDUNA: Thank you Madam Speaker for your protection.  As I wind up, I spoke of the ubiquitous amount of minerals that we have got, in particular gold. Chegutu West Constituency resides the largest gold reserve in the whole of Africa.  Madam Speaker, if you criminalise the illicit outflows, in particular using gold, the money laundering attached to our mineral wealth in particular as I have alluded to gold which resides and comes from Pickstone-Peerless Mine and 20 other gold mines in Chegutu West Constituency, the people of Chegutu are going to certainly be aligned to the criminalisation of anyone who is caught  money laundering because what they hold dear in their hearts and minds has also been embedded in this Money Laundering Bill.  They are going to thank you ad infinitum Madam Speaker.  With those few words, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate on this Bill.

          HON. HOLDER: Thank you Madam Speaker for allowing me to contribute to this debate. Listening to the report which the Chairman of the Portfolio Committee on Finance gave to this House, it was a report which was enlightening on the things that are transpiring throughout this country. There are two issues that you need to understand and the first issue is that money laundering comes in different ways. The biggest problem that we are facing is that a lot of big shots, fish, tycoons or people who are in positions of authority, are the ones who are funding this money laundering.

          I am saying this because when you enter Zimbabwe from outside the country, whether you come to Beitbridge or Botswana as you exit, you will find people on the side of the road calling on you if you need to change the money and nothing is being done about that. We can even go as far as Harare in some of the streets. You find that at every corner there are people holding money waiting to change. As long as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe does not put proper policies in place, this thing is going to continue until Government will actually operate on what we call auto-pilot.

          These guys will be running the economy because all the US$ on the street, they buy it. Whether you want it in eco-cash transfer or bond, they buy it and there is a rate for everything. We have been looking at this and saying something needed to be done in order for us to straighten our economy. We talk of zero tolerance to corruption but we see this happening. There is one issue that you need to realise and it is that Zimbabweans have gone through a real tough time and because of going through so much hardships, there is no way a Zimbabwean person or any person in Zimbabwe will fail to make a plan. If he sees that things are difficult and if you put too many restrictions, he will say I will make a plan and for sure, he will make a plan and succeed.

          We have seen it even on the fuel crisis and cash and we are still seeing it today. I am saying this because a Government that governs the list, its people will discipline themselves. That is a saying by Warren Buffet and he was correct. This Bill should be a Bill that will actually promote and Government should concentrate more on collecting its taxes. An open policy, more taxes, more money and there will be no problems. The moment you start restricting that you are only allowed to take so much and do this, you cannot beat the Zimbabwean. He will say I will make a plan and he will make a plan and succeed.

          Madam Speaker, I am saying these things because as Government we need to first come up with a policy on how to clean up this. This is because most of this money in the streets, you will see new bond notes and new coins but the bank has no bond notes, but all the US$ will go in the streets. So, some people do not understand how money laundering works. It is actually dirty money that is coming into the economy. How does it come into the economy? I just want to explain to you how it works. How I am going to explain is that other Hon. Members can understand how this system really works.

          What happens is that somebody most probably dealing in drugs, those drugs, because it is dirty money, it now comes and it gets washed by buying minerals, gold, diamonds or whatever and they are exported. So, it is no longer known as drug money. It is known as mineral money yet that money actually came from Dubai or somewhere. I just wanted to explain how this thing works. The biggest challenge that we are facing is that a person would actually apply and ask, please can I have money to buy this and bring it into the country. So, because you refuse him that, he makes a plan and that is when he goes to the street, buys the US$, the Pula, Rand or whatever currency but if you go to the Reserve Bank, there is no money.

          Madam Speaker, I am contributing and I want to make sure that the Minister of Finance hears me clearly. It may seem like it is a joke but it is not. It is something which is very serious and we need to take it into consideration so that our economy can be lifted. The problem is that if we do not do something, the people out there, the normal and the general people who live from hand to mouth who will just have a job and learn to live within their means, are the ones who will suffer the most. I feel that we need to make sure that we first need to get rid of that in the streets and then we will be able to come up with policies where at least if somebody wants money and he wants to move his money, do it in a legal way. Just charge him a certain commission instead of it going in the streets.

          I really would like to look at this Bill as a Bill that will promote good governance, transparency and accountability and not a Bill that will frustrate anyone. We have been frustrated for many years in terms of cash, in terms of trying to get allocation and currency out of the country and because of that, if this Bill does not seek to sort out those issues, it is rather better for somebody to ask than for somebody to make a plan. This is because when you make a plan, whether it is right or wrong, it will still work because he has made a plan.

          Madam Speaker, the Chairman actually enlightened us on the bitcoin and the cryptocurrencies and stuff like that. Those are other systems which are sophisticated but in this country as we stand now, the money that you see in the street is the money that we are supposed to try and come up with regulations at least. If we come up with regulations, you will find that we will be able to go into the banks and ask if we can have US$5 000.00 and you get it over the counter than for us to make a plan. This is because Zimbabweans will never fail to make a plan.

          Madam Speaker, I think what I have contributed is basically what I wanted to say. I would like to thank you for bringing this Bill forward and I hope this Bill is progressive in terms of trying to govern and trying to see that money laundering is not done in this country, but we need to look into those issues because the issue where we say we are now putting police for everything, this is why we could not even travel throughout the country because the police were making more money, they were tollgates at that time.  Now, we can travel without any money in our pockets, we do not have a problem.  I thank you.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  Thank you Madam Speaker.  I thank you very much for giving me the floor to respond to the contributions, in particular, the contribution from the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development, Chairperson Hon. Chapfika.  I also want to thank the contributions from the Hon. Members Nduna and Holder.  Let me thank them for supporting the Bill but also, let me take the opportunity to respond to the concerns that they have raised.  The Portfolio Committee on Finance and Economic Development requests that the financial intelligence unit be a standalone unit outside the Central Bank. 

Madam Speaker, the requirement which we have embedded in this amendment is to make the unit or to give the unit operational independence.  That is, as they operate, they are not answerable to the Governor.  They can only report to the board of the Central Bank.  To that extent, we have succeeded to give them operational independence and there is no need Madam Speaker for the expense of setting up an entirely new administrative unit or board standing outside the Reserve Bank.  What I think is key is to give them operational independence so that they are not subject to the day to day directions from the Central Bank. 

With respect to the appointment of the Director General, again, it is not necessary that it should be done by the board.  I think the requirement that we have put in place that is by the Governor with the approval and in consultation with the Minister is in my view, adequate at this point in time since we are not setting up an entirely new administrative board.  I would also be averse for Ministers to be responsible for appointment of such important people who are doing professional work and appointment by the Minister would be in the direction of politicising this unit.  I think that the provisions which were put in place were adequate.

The Committee also raised a question about giving the financial intelligence unit the power to freeze accounts.  That power Madam Speaker is already there.  It was granted and provided for in the last Finance Act that introduced the 2018 Budget.  In other words, the Financial Intelligence Unit has power to direct any financial institution to freeze any suspicious accounts, it has that power already in terms of the Finance Act that was enacted by this House not so long ago.  Madam Speaker, with respect to attain a client privilege, this is a concept which is in our law.  Legal practitioners are part of the designated non-financial businesses and professions which are going to be provided for under Clause 3 of the Bill.  That issue is already taken care of.  With respect to ultimate beneficiaries ownership, this is again contained in the Companies and other Entities Bill which is currently Order No. 1 on today’s Order Paper.  In other words, that Bill is providing for issues to do with nominee shareholding and the extent to which the actual beneficiaries should be disclosed.  The point was raised Madam Speaker that the unit must be adequately resourced.  That I think is adequately provided for under Clause 4 which provides that the unit shall have its own budget in addition to monies allocated to it by the Reserve Bank which include monies appropriated by an Act of Parliament. 

Madam Speaker, with respect to the operations of illegal money changers, already, the law caters for that situation and the law is the Exchange Control Act, as well as the Bank Use Promotion Act which, again we recently amended.  What is needed Madam Speaker, as we go forward is enforcement of the existing law by arresting, prosecuting and confiscating those who are found involved in illegal exchange or change of money.  What we are doing currently Madam Speaker is to ensure that personnel who will be involved in enforcing this law are adequately trained.  As you know, this law is very technical and we found that all the enforcement agencies from the police officers, from the prosecuting officers, from those who are in the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, they need adequate training on these pieces of legislation so that they can carry their mandate in an informed manner. So enforcement will come but it will come after appropriate training. 

Madam Speaker, the question was also raised by the Committee on certificates of designated non-financial businesses and professions by the financial intelligence unit.  Madam Speaker, it is not necessary, the financial intelligence unit, already has wide powers to compel, as I have already pointed out, compliance by designated professional, non-financial professional institutions such as lawyers, estate agencies and accountants.  The financial intelligence unit also has power to instruct as I have already pointed out, financial institutions to close accounts if there is non-compliance with the law.  Madam Speaker, with respect to facilitation registration of Bureau de Change, only last year, the Reserve Bank issued and published revised guidelines simplifying the requirements to register as Bureau de Change.  The requirements are now so simple that dozens new such entities had been registered across the country over the last few months including in small towns.  That again Madam Speaker is a matter that is being attended to. 

I have listened to both Hon. Members Nduna and Holder and I will take their issues into account when next revising our legislation.  I thank you Madam Speaker and I now move that the Bill be now read for the second time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage:  With leave forthwith.

COMMITTEE STAGE

MONEY LAUNDERING AND PROCEEDS OF CRIME BILL [H. B. 4, 2018]

House in Committee.

Clauses 1 to 24 put and agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported without amendments.

Third reading:  With leave, forthwith.

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  It has been drawn to my attention that during the Second Reading speech, I did not do justice to the point raised by the Portfolio Committee on cryptocurrencies.  The point was raised as to whether we can make regulations to provide for regulating issuance of cryptocurrencies so as to avoid abuse and money laundering.  I thought that for the benefit of hon. members, I should give some response on that issue.

It is true that cryptocurrencies may be used for illicit purposes.  This is an emerging and evolving area which even the international standard setting bodies are yet to come up with common standards. Like other jurisdictions, we are still studying this area in order to inform ourselves as to the appropriate long term framework to adopt.  However, it is important to note that the use of cryptocurrencies is already monitored for money laundering and countering of financing of terrorism purposes.  There may be need for a separate holistic framework to cater for this area, but it will be inappropriate to try and incorporate that into this Amendment Bill.  I would therefore urge the completion of requisite research to inform policy on further legislative interventions.  I thought I should give this for the information of this august House. 

THIRD READING

MONEY LAUNDERING AND PROCEEDS OF CRIME BILL [H. B. 4, 2018]

THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA):  With those remarks Madam Speaker, I now move that the Bill be read the third time.

Motion put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHINAMASA), the House adjourned at Twenty-Five Minutes past Three o’clock p.m.

 

 

 

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