Golden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has said it has frozen idle funds in bank accounts that were being used to hurt the domestic currency and driving price increases and exerting pressure on inflation.
RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya revealed this at a briefing in Harare for media and banking sector executives following the central bank’s first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Monday and Tuesday this week. However, the RBZ chief said the idle cash was not ill-gotten wealth, although it was being used speculatively. The funds will now be invested in productive sectors.
Dr Mangudya said 50 corporates hold half the total banking sector deposits of $17 billion and the companies were behind money market activities that were hurting the domestic unit introduced in February this year. While the official interbank rate is now around US$1 to $15,6 from US$1 to $2,5 when the exchange rate was liberalised in February and the interbank market introduced, the rate should be around US$1 to between $5 and $8.
The accounts include, but not limited to those for Sakunda, Spartan Security, Croco Motors and related companies, which were frozen last month by the bank’s financial intelligence unit.
More to follow…