Zimbabweans refuse to pay $1.3b RBZ debt

via Zimbabweans refuse to pay $1.3b RBZ debt 16/09/2014

ZIMBABWEANS on Tuesday told a parliamentary committee that only those who benefited from the central bank’s quasi-fiscal activities at the height of the country’s economic crisis should be made to pay for the mess.

Presenting their views to a parliamentary committee on budget and finance, residents of Mutare said treasury should not take up the $1.3 billion debt accrued by the central bank.

Instead, it is the individuals who benefitted in their personal capacities who should be made to pay back, they said.

The residents said the RBZ should apologise to citizens for the “2009 mess” where majority of the banking public lost their fortunes during the migration to the multi-currency regime after years of record inflation.

A resident, Prosper Chikomo, said instead of paying the debt, the RBZ was better off liquidated and the government should focus on creating a new central bank or rather pour the money into ailing industries.

“This new bank should be taken seriously as well. We never benefitted from the RBZ’s activities, the government should not take this debt,” said Chikomo.

“We can’t wake up and be told we must assist government to pay this when initially we were excluded from key decisions.”

In December last year, treasury announced that it was assuming the RBZ debt and would repay all individuals and corporates that the central bank owed.

During the hyper-inflationary era, the central bank operated quasi-fiscal operations such as distribution of tractors to Zanu PF officials, paying salaries among other activities that are normally the duty of treasury.

In the process, the central bank borrowed money from individuals and corporate institutions but never paid back.

Nomalanga Ncube, from Zimcodd, a civic group demanding transparency in debt management, said the RBZ Debt Assumption Bill should change its outlook, as it was biased and only focusing on corporates.

“Individuals and pensioners are not mentioned in this bill. It only prioritises paying corporates like the Bank of Malawi, what about us locals?

“The bill should serve locals first before anything. When this debt was incurred, people were suffering because it was at the height of the economic meltdown. The bill should address how livelihoods will improve this time around,” she said.

In Mutare, residents told the parliamentary committee which is chaired by Zanu PF MP, David Chapfika, that individuals who benefited from various government programmes should pay back loans, including for machinery and equipment given to them.

“I don’t know why it is doing that. Why should us, taxpayers, fund someone’s personal projects? There are so many capable people who benefited from government’s programmes, these are the people who should be invoiced,” said Regai Tsunga.

If the bill passes, the government will assume the $1,1billion debt which will be met by ordinary taxpayers, who are already over-squeezed by a barrage of taxes.

The Bill was published in the Government Gazette on June 13, 2014 and seeks to offload debt incurred by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe prior to December 2008 onto government and therefore effectively onto the taxpayer.

On Wednesday the Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Committee will be in Gweru and its final stop will be in Harare on Thursday before presenting their findings to the national assembly for consideration.


  • comment-avatar
    Macemike 8 years ago

    Beneficiaries must repay. Simple as that

    • comment-avatar

      Yes! Absolutely. ZPF mustn’t even go down that road with us. We are zvakwana with paying to fix their messes and theft. We are expected to bankroll their rampant greed.

    • comment-avatar
      taona 8 years ago

      Gono should be forced to tell us who benefited from this expenditure. These are the people who should pay. Our hard earned cash disappeared from the actions of the RBZ and now you want us to pay for goods we never received. Let them pay!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Panda moyo 8 years ago

    Right on mace.the rbz instead is owing us citizens.they defrauded us of our hard earned cash

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    The ZANU’s would not be ZANU’s if they were not trying to live at the expense of others

  • comment-avatar
    Swagman 8 years ago

    Imagine any other Bank
    in the world, after losing
    billions through inept fiscal
    conduct – ask their depositors
    to repay the “2009 mess”.

    What a ludicrous, illegal, and
    immoral idea – RBZ is THE National
    Bank and it’s a farce, a joke!

  • comment-avatar
    Mscynic 8 years ago

    RBZ must disclose the nature of these vast debts. We want to see till slips and vouchers. Demand full accountability from an arm of govt. Demand obedience from an organ of the state that is funded by you the taxpayer.

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    Justice 8 years ago

    Lets see a list of the looters….good try ZANU CHEFS, pay back every cent you owe!

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    Tinomunamataishe 8 years ago

    The money was used to sustain the Zanu PF regime, give free farming implements to Zanu PF farmers and other free handouts to the Zanu guys.
    How dare can they ask people to repay that money? Zanu PF should repay it, they were the sole beneficiaries of that money.

  • comment-avatar
    Tiger Shona 8 years ago

    Zanu’s true nature. Stealing.

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 8 years ago

    Right on, why should the general taxpayer be responsible for this looting of FCAs, those tat benefited should be invoiced and those making the decisions at the time be held responsible for the rest….

  • comment-avatar

    We need another Sandura commission first before this bill goes for voting in parliament.MDC RENEWAL please help ooooh my god the leader of the one culprit is the client of our leader.

  • comment-avatar

    “The wicked borrows and does not repay.” Psalm 37:21

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 8 years ago

    As much as I hate saying this we are all dreaming.These thieves will not pay back any stolen money.They keep uttering the Africa excuse….Im not the one.

  • comment-avatar
    Msizeni Silwelani 8 years ago

    What kind of a national bank that would involve itself in the purchase and distribution of ox – drawn ploughs and scotchcarts to beneficiaries whose collateral is lacking or non existent? This exercaberted by the spirit of entitlement. See where we are now. Forever ransomed by our supposed liberators.

  • comment-avatar
    MikeH 8 years ago

    Now, at long last, I know where the proceeds of my two private pensions and two life insurance policies went to when they were “paid out” by First Mutual Life Zimbabwe (formerly Prudential). The proceeds certainly didn’t come to me.

  • comment-avatar
    nyakureva 8 years ago

    talk of ineptness, money was used to acquire farming equipment, generators, chemicals, fertilisers, scotch carts, ploughs etc. they were issued to people who live in the country, some of them are A2 farmers who presented business plans to justify getting a piece of land. how difficult is it to go to these people and ask them to pay what they owe? zbc has the video recordings of these fan fares…………please use them to go and get what belongs to Caesar and leave everyone else alone. icho! charira

  • comment-avatar
    protestor 8 years ago


  • comment-avatar
    C Frizell 8 years ago


    “In the process, the central bank borrowed money from individuals and corporate institutions but never paid back.”

    Does Zanooo EVER pay back anything?