The ongoing looting of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) assets by an elite clique of senior government officials has forced President Mugabe to act.
RBZ, which is saddled by local and international debts is rapidly loosing assets ranging from top of the range vehicles, buses, generators, tractors, farm equipment, and furniture.
And amid growing concerns that Zimbabwean government officials have resorted to looting public property whenever an opportunity arises, creditors have also begun auctioning RBZ companies and houses to recover their monies. Latest RBZ documents on the auctions of central bank property show that a vice-president and several ministers have bought RBZ assets acting on inside information.
Sources within the Office of the President and Cabinet at the weekend disclosed that Mugabe would on Friday issue a statutory instrument in terms of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act to deal with the issue.
“Cabinet took a decision on Tuesday that the auctioning of RBZ assets due to unpaid debts must be stopped because it’s unlawful,” a source said. “As a result President Mugabe will issue a statutory instrument to stop the sale of central bank assets, which are public property.”
But sources, judging from past experiences say Mugabe would not act beyond that.
Recently, several senior officials including the late vice-president Joseph Msika, current vice-president Joyce Mujuru and ministers Samuel Mumbengegwi, Sithembiso Nyoni, Olivia Muchena, Stan Mudenge and Patrick Chinamsa were believed to have been involved in the looting of state-owned steel-making company, Ziscosteel’s resources through dubious payments from the enterprise.
Despite the fact that the official report named ministers who got thousands of dollars in corrupt payouts from Ziscosteel, Mugabe did nothing about it.
However, Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), a grouping of a few remaining white farmers say RBZ owes its members in excess of US $ 20 million in funds looted from their export accounts three years ago.
The CFU is dragging RBZ, which between 2007 and 2008 looted funds from export company accounts to fund its controversial quasi-fiscal activities, to court. The looted funds were never refunded and several export companies were still saddled with the debt from the time.
Said CFU president, Deon Theron: “The process of getting that information from all that had funds looted is about to be complete, but from the few farmers who have come forward, we have established that the amount looted from their accounts is about US $ 20 million.” Theron also said CFU projections indicate that the amount will more than double when all its members have come forward.