Zimbabwe Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has been asked to check if there are any undue delays in the release of funds allotted to businesses under the auction system which is the anchor of the country’s recovery programme.
This followed complaints by legislators that it was taking up to nine weeks before some companies were able to access the forex they would have been allocated at the auction.
“My research with the bank is that some of them, particularly the big banks, are 8 weeks behind on the allocation of foreign currency. As a policy, could the Minister of Finance please check as to what is happening with the system – because in trading, if you wait for 8 weeks and your money is taken a week before, that is 9 weeks which is two months that your money has been taken out of your cash flow before you receive the foreign currency. I am not blaming anyone but all I am asking is, as a policy, could Government check what the issue is delaying this by 9 weeks?” Allan Markham asked.
Edwin Mushoriwa said there was need for the Minister of Finance to investigate as big banks were taking up to eight weeks to disburse money while smaller banks were taking four weeks.
The leader of government business in Parliament, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said this was an issue between banks and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe but Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda said Ziyambi should talk to Ncube to check if these delays were real so that this could be corrected.
Zimbabwe has anchored its recovery programme on the auction system which has bought some stability into the market since its introduction in June last year.
The auction has so far allotted US$1.4 billion to 4 897 businesses.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has released the list if all businesses that have been allocated foreign currency through the auction from June last year to end of May this year.
HON. MARKHAM: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Last week, we were told by the Deputy Minister that all the money due from the auction system has been paid up to date. Has this indeed happened and have the banks paid their customers? What is Government policy to ensure that customers are given their allocations they applied for? Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which is purely operational. The Government policy is that you access forex through the auction system and you are duly notified through your bank. It is the bank that then proceeds to ensure that you get your allocation. Should the Hon. Member be having problems with that process of ensuring that the allocated foreign currency is accessed, I think it is a matter that can be taken up through the relevant banking channels to the Reserve Bank. I thank you.
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