Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke today accused Meikles Limited of overstating the debt it is owed by the Reserve Bank with the intention of manipulating its price on the stock market.
Kereke, a former advisor to the then central bank governor Gideon Gono, who now sits on Parliament’s committee on finance and economic planning said the RBZ debt to Meikles stood at $34.1 million as at December 2008 and could not have ballooned to $90 million, which Meikles published in its 2013 and 2014 results.
“Meikles published completely erroneous information (whose) implications are far much more in the financial system than just the numbers,” Kereke said.
“They created a stock exchange bubble which is tantamount to fraud. When you artificially present falsehoods on the stock exchange you uplift the stock price or keep it where it is when in effect it was supposed to fall. The stock exchange has been tampered with.”
Meikles officials were not immediately available to comment.
Commenting on the issue, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said government would verify the figures and only repay the validated amount.
“Whether that fraud was committed or not ultimately it will not prejudice us because if we comb through papers and we are satisfied with what we owe we should honor what we owe,” Chinamasa told the parliamentary committee.
“Whether Meikles has been lying in its public documents is another issue which may need to be referred to the stock exchange and the securities commission.”
Central bank governor John Mangudya said figures in the debt assumption bill were still being verified.-The Source