Thursday, 25 October 2018

RBZ PROBE STARTS


THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has engaged auditors to investigate the activities of four senior executives who were suspended over allegations of corruption and illegal foreign currency dealings.

In a statement, Reserve Bank Governor Dr John Mangudya said the Central bank was “seized with the matter” and had directed a special committee to address the issue.

“Further to the Press statement issued on 23 October 2018, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe wishes to advise members of the public that the Bank’s Board of Directors is seized with the matter and has directed its audit and oversight committee to urgently look into the issues,” he said.

“The committee has been tasked to immediately work in conjunction with external auditors and other stakeholders to investigate the matter. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the public will be appraised of the outcome in the interest of transparency and good governance,” said Dr Mangudya. 

The central bank on Monday suspended with immediate effect the apex bank’s head of supervision Norman Mataruka, director financial markets Azvinandawa Saburi, director financial intelligence Mirirai Chiremba and head of security Mr Gresham Muradzikwa.

Mr Acie Lumumba, who chaired the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development communications taskforce before he was relieved of his duties on Monday, on Sunday publicly accused the quartet of running a foreign currency cartel at the Central Bank, at a time the country is facing acute foreign currency shortages that are crippling the productive sector.

In a 46-minute live Facebook video, Mr Lumumba exonerated Dr Mangudya but accused the four of various crimes ranging from off-the-books bond notes circulation to corrupt allocation of foreign currency.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared zero tolerance to corruption and vowed that his Government would have no sacred cows in its fight against graft. 

The President has already hinted the net was closing in on corrupt officials as he lamented rampant acts of economic sabotage.

His concern follows a recent spate of unjustified price increases, which are being fuelled by spiralling parallel market currency exchange rates aided by spreading of alarmist fake news, mainly on social media.

These have squeezed consumer spending power on the back of hoarding of basic commodities, which have created artificial shortages.

In his video before his sacking from the job he held for three days, Mr Lumumba said corrupt dealings by senior apex bank officials were among the factors that are inflicting trouble in the economy and making it difficult for Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube and Government to manoeuvre in addressing the challenges facing the economy.

He further claimed that despite the accused RBZ senior managers not being allowed to sit on any company boards, they sit on the board that buys gold from Fidelity Printers and Refiners, and reportedly manufacture jewellery, which they would then sell outside the country. Herald

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