By Roadwin Chirara
HARARE – Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Gideon Gono has put out the claws on Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere and his empowerment fixer David Chapfika, saying they were unfit to preside over the localisation of foreign banks.
With the two Zanu PF officials pushing for a heavy-handed approach to indigenisation of banks, the central bank chief yesterday said that “anyone associated with a failed bank was not fit to deal with banking matters or to ever own, run or talk about the ownership of a bank again” until they are cleared by his office.
“The fact that the two main proponents (Chapfika and Kasukuwere) of the recent illogical moves have presided over the failure of their two banks before, namely Unibank and Genesis, call for Solomonic wisdom on the part of Zimbabwe’s population and leadership,” Gono said, adding the Indigenisation minister’s Friday thresholds for the banking sector were, therefore, a nullity until President Robert Mugabe approved them.
“I will be consulting with and obtaining further guidance from His Excellency… on the latest moves by the minister in relation to the sector that l superintend – the banking sector – and his instructions will be final in the manner in which we will proceed,” he said.
“Until such guidance is received from the president (Mugabe), we regard the regulations gazetted as devoid of detail and rationality, as they are contradictory… with existing laws… such as the Banking Act and RBZ Act, which stand at par with any other law… except the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” Gono said.
The RBZ boss said Kasukuwere did not have the power to enact any regulations, which affected the operations of the country’s banking sector without consulting him.
“Both the RBZ and Banking Acts have not been amended to exclude the RBZ from final responsibility of running Zimbabwe’s financial sector, including determining and approving shareholder changes… in order for such changes to be effective,” Gono said.
While Gono has presented an alternative plan to the indigenisation of Barclays, MBCA Bank, Stanbic and Standard Chartered Bank, he stressed that there are no changes in terms of how capitalisations, exchange control compliance and Sadc on regional integrations of economies, and a whole host of local subsidiary laws will change.
“As governor of the RBZ and a technocrat, with genuine, hard-earned qualifications in banking, finance and development economics, l have presented to the nation and the ministry an empowerment model with potential to lead to the ultimate indigenisation of the financial sector… but it seems people meant to be assisted through robust and not necessarily populist thinking do not either have the time to read the models or don’t understand them at all, hence going off at tangent,” he ripped into Kasukuwere, adding his office would not be part of an arbitrary law and process to “expropriate banking assets in Zimbabwe yesterday, today or tomorrow.”
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai also rubbished the recent regulations, saying the proposed action and policy did not have Cabinet approval and were therefore illegal. According to the Friday notice, several companies in various sectors including crèches and banks are on the verge of hostile seizures if they fail to comply with Kasukuwere’s demands. Daily News
To help maintain editorial independence Nehanda Radio relies on donations from readers like you. No donation is too small or too big. Help by donating to fund our operations.