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Money laundering, lawyers and President’s intervention in Zimbabwe

Prosper Simbarashe Maguchu (Department of Public International Law, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Giessen, Germany)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




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-financial business and professions.


The study is a textual analysis of anti-money laundering legislation [anti-money laundering (AML) legislation] within the context of legal practice in Zimbabwe.


The amendment put Zimbabwe on the international standard in the fight 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 influences 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.


This paper provides the first 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.



Maguchu, P.S. (2017), "Money laundering, lawyers and President’s intervention in Zimbabwe", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 138-149.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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