RBZ Threatens To Freeze Bank Accounts
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has threatened to freeze more bank accounts after the foreign currency exchange rates on the black market started rising this week. In a strongly-worded statement, the central bank threatened to freeze the accounts of the people it alleges are destabilising the market which has been relatively stable for the past four months. This comes after the rate of the United States Dollar breached the 25 threshold after months hovering between 20 and 22.
In a statement which was released on social media, the central bank said,
It has come to the attention of the Bank that some exchange rate manipulators are exerting pressure on the forex market with the intention of destabilizing the stability that the country has been experiencing over the past four months.
Such malpractice is not warranted as money supply has remained under control for the past five months. The matter has been escalated to the Financial Intelligence Unit that is proceeding to investigate and freeze the accounts of those upsetting the market.
This is not the first time that the monetary authorities have resorted to freezing accounts. Back in September, the central bank froze bank accounts belonging to Sakunda Holdings, Access Finance, Croco Motors and Spartan Securities following allegations of money laundering and financing the black market. According to the central bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the companies had poured in hundreds of millions of local currency onto the black market to mop up increasingly hard to come by United States Dollars and other foreign currency.
While the measures stalled the run on the local currency on the black market, forcing the rate to come down, the accounts were later unfrozen after investigations by the authorities and it seems like no action was taken against the companies.
Sakunda is owned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ally Kudakwashe Tagwirei while Spartan Investments is reportedly owned by Mnangagwa’s nephew Tarisai Mnangagwa.
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