Mugabe goes for banks this time


President Robert Mugabe has criticised the country’s banks for punishing both depositors and borrowers and accused them of imposing sanctions of their own on the country.

Zimbabwe has been under Western economic sanctions for more than a decade though the European Union has eased the sanctions leaving only Mugabe, his wife and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries on its list.

The United States has refused to lift its sanctions on Zimbabwe arguing that these are targeted at individuals accused of human rights violations  yet the same sanctions allow the US President to bar any of the international financial institutions from giving loans to Zimbabwe.

Speaking at the burial of former Deputy Minister and Senator Aguy Georgias yesterday, Mugabe said: “True, this economy faces many challenges, wrought mainly by sanctions. But there is a way in which the banking sector has not made matters any easier. Banks seem to pass their own sanctions package against us, including those who deposit with them.”

Although inflation is in the negative Zimbabwe’s banks still charge double-digit interest rates for borrowers but practically nothing for savers, with bank charges taking a huge chunk from those who utilise their services.

“It is only in banks where time reduces deposited savings, instead of growing them. One gets punished for depositing savings with banks, it seems. One gets less for one’s deposits, but pays more for borrowing.

“How do we ever hope to grow this economy when we undermine the propensity to save, punish borrowers? I am happy the Minister of Finance and the Reserve Bank Governor are looking at other strategies of reforming the banking sector and injecting liquidity into the market,” Mugabe said.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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