Zimbabwe

Mugabe expected to 'save' foreign banks

2012-07-05 14:20
Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe. (AP)

Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe. (AP)

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Cape Town - Zimbabwe’s Central Bank boss says he will be consulting with President Robert Mugabe for guidance on the latest moves by the country's indigenous minister to have foreign banks seized under the Zanu-PF led asset grab programme, a report said on Thursday.

According to Newsday, President Robert Mugabe was now expected to intervene in the battle between Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono and indigenous minister  Saviour Kasukuwere after Gono declared that foreign banks would be not be seized.

The indigenous minister last Friday extended government’s asset grab programme under the indigenisation laws to include banks, crèches, primary and secondary schools as well as institutions of higher learning. He gave foreign-owned banks a year to transfer 51% of their shareholding to locals.

But Gono on Thursday warned the move breached the country's own banking laws. He said he was now seeking a meeting with Mugabe - who is in Singapore until this weekend for a medical check-up - for guidance.

"The Zimbabwean banking sector needs to be advised that there is no law that provides for arbitrariness on the part of anyone and/or expropriation of banking assets in Zimbabwe," he said.

"I will soon... be consulting with and obtaining further guidance from President Mugabe on the latest moves by the minister [Kasukuwere] in relation to the sector that I superintend, the banking sector, and his [Mugabe’s] instructions will be final in the manner in which we will proceed.

"Until such guidance is received from the president, we regard the regulations as gazetted as devoid of detail and rationality as they are contradictory in many respects with existing laws in the country such as the Banking Act and the RBZ Act which stand at par with any other law in the country except the Constitution," he said.

Gono said Kasukuwere’s notice had been published without consultation with "monetary authorities in the country".

- News24

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