Zimbabwe removed from FATF grey list

by | Mar 7, 2022 | Business, International | 0 comments

Zimbabwe removed from FATF grey list

Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa


Global financial crime watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has removed Zimbabwe from the damaging financial grey watchlist.

The grey list is a classification of countries with weak financial controls and harbor illicit funds.

In a recent statement, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said recent assessments saw Zimbabwe`s economy getting a clean bill.

“I am pleased to inform stakeholders and the nation at large, that following an On Site Evaluation exercise carried out in January 2022, the Financial Action Task Force( FATF), had on the 4th of March, 2022, announced Zimbabwe’s removal from the list of countries that are considered to be insufficiently compliant in implementing Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism ( AML/CFT) Standards,” said Minister Ncube.

The development is a tonic for the Zimbabwean economy as it opens up to new investors, who are usually not keen on too much scrutiny.

It also brings into focus the funding of Civic Societies and Non-governmental organisations who have been using Zimbabwe`s presence on the grey list as an excuse to evade going through normal channels


Zimbabwe was put on the FATF grey list in October 2019, on concerns that its financial system did not have enough safeguards to stop the flow of dirty money.

The FATF was set up by the G7 nations to enforce anti-money laundering (AML) and combating of financing of terrorism (CFT) rules.

“The FATF congratulated Zimbabwe for the significant progress it has made in addressing the strategic AML/CFT deficiencies previously identified by the FATF and included in its action plan. Zimbabwe will no longer be subject to the FATF’s increased monitoring process. This comes after the country received an on-site visit,” FATF said in a statement.

Zimbabwe improved its risk-based supervision for financial institutions and other private businesses, developed penalties for violators, and increased access to up-to-date beneficial ownership data.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube had anticipated the lifting of the FATF measures this quarter, during his 2022 budget statement. This, he hoped, would result in “boosting investor confidence and making it easier for local banks to secure new correspondent banking relationships while retaining existing ones”.

Prof Ncube added, “The removal from the FATF’s grey list is yet another vote of confidence by the international community, which continues to recognise the growing list of achievements by the Second Republic, under the leadership of His Excellency, the President, Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.”


Prof Ncube said that adherence to strict AML/CFT standards is not just a compliance requirement but enhances the country’s image as a safe destination for investment, strengthens the domestic financial sector and builds on the confidence that stakeholders have in the country as a committed and responsible member of the global financial ecosystem.


He also promised that, “The fight against money laundering and Terrorism financing therefore remains an ongoing process, which shall not end with the country’s exit from the ‘grey-list’. My Ministry which is responsible for the overall AML/CFT oversight, will continue to provide all the necessary support to the FIU and to ensure continuous enhancement of the country’s capacity to combat money laundering and related financial crime, for the good of the Zimbabwean economy.”

The FATF measures have been a sore point in African and EU relations.

The African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) has previously described the listing process as ‘unilateral and discriminatory’. Other African countries also previously listed by FATF – Ghana, Mauritius and Botswana – were also removed from the list at previous meetings.