Biti made this statement on Monday while addressing Parliament on the mining sector’s impact on the country’s economy.
“What we are losing in terms of illicit financial flows is actually more than what we are getting in terms of diaspora remittances US$1 billion, what we are getting in terms of foreign aid or overseas development assistance, and what we are getting in terms of foreign investment which is around US$200 million,” Biti said.
Biti further highlighted the mining sector’s dire situation, which is accounting for US$6-7 billion per year, yet little of this money is benefiting the country.
Most of the mining model in Zimbabwe is extractive, with companies coming in, looting, and leaving total destruction, unemployment, and so forth.
“We are now losing possibly US$2 billion on lithium alone. As I am talking to you right now, the price of lithium is US$80 000 a tonne. That is the new black gold and we have nothing to show for it,” he added.
Biti urged the authorities to come up with legislation on illicit financial flows and push the United Nations to develop an international convention that deals with such financial crimes.
The issue of illicit financial flows is not new in Zimbabwe, with reports of the country losing billions of dollars annually to corruption and other illegal activities. This has led to the country’s economic instability, with citizens bearing the brunt of the consequences.
Zimbabwe’s government has yet to issue a statement on the matter, but many citizens are hopeful that these revelations will spark action to address the issue and promote transparency in the country.