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Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance (MDC-Alliance) vice president who was once Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti says there is a pandemic which is milking the country dry, amid rising poverty among citizens.

Biti speaking in an address code named Unpacking Corruption in Zimbabwe said a pandemic called corruption has done more harm to the country than any other.

“The scourge of corruption. It has become so key and structural in our country, Zimbabwe. Corruption has become the biggest essential threat that our country faces since the coup of November 2017,” he said.

He said one key facet of corruption is the smuggling of precious minerals which continued even after the low level of production that are taking place at Marange, adding that it is estimated that between 2009 -2014, Zimbabwe illegally lost USD15 Billion worth of diamonds.

Biti said USD1.5 Billion worth of gold is being smuggled annually from Zimbabwe, translating to between 40-50 tonnes of gold shipped illegally out of Zimbabwe annually.

“With the current level of corruption in Zimbabwe we will literally overtake every African country on our continent.

“As I am talking to you right now, Zimbabwe is ranked 160 out of 180 by Transparency International.

“We are the 20th most corrupt country in the whole world and we’ve overtaken traditionally corrupt countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe recently registered smuggling cases involving people connected to highest avenues of power.

At times, members of the country’s security sector have been implicated.