RBZ-StanChart forex appropriation case postponed

via RBZ-StanChart forex appropriation case postponed | The Zimbabwean by Sofia Mapuranga 03.12.13

The High Court case against the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Standard Chartered Bank, being accused of misappropriating an estimated half a million dollars from the Zimbabwe Aids Network, has been postponed.

ZAN lawyer, Belinda Chinowawa from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human told The Zimbabwean that the matter, which is before Judge Justice Felistus Chatukuta, was postponed to January 22, 2014.

Said Chinowawa: “The High Court is now on vacation and the matter will be heard next year.” ZAN, an AIDS charity organisation, is challenging the seizure of an estimated $500, 000 ,accusing the RBZ and StanChart of expropriating the its funds illegally.

In 2007, the RBZ under its former governor, Gideon Gono, issued a directive compelling all banks to centralise all foreign currency accounts in a move aimed at reducing the rising inflation and stabilising the economy.

The initiative gave the RBZ control of more than a billion dollars worth of foreign currency that was held by other banks and authorised dealers on behalf of their clients.

In a related development last month, a Chinese-owned firm in Kwekwe, China Shougang International, won its case against Stanchart, after its funds were seized under similar circumstances.

Although Stanchart had denied responsibility arguing that the Chinese firm should hold the RBZ accountable, the Supreme Court disagreed, and ordered StanChart to pay back the Chinese firm almost $50, 000.