The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has failed to account for $3 million which vanished from the Ministry of Home Affairs account, NewsDay has established.
Home Affairs co-minister Theresa Makone confirmed the disappearance of the money and the central bank’s failure to account for it.
Makone said this while explaining that the printing of passports by Fidelity Printers, a subsidiary of RBZ, should not be a problem because her ministry did not owe the printing company any money.
“We do not owe them (Fidelity Printers) any money. Instead they owe us $6,8 million that was held in trust by the RBZ (Fidelity’ parent company),” she said.
“Of that money $3 million is nowhere to be found. We know we will not get the money.”
All government departments are expected to remit money to the central bank, to be kept in trust.
Makone said her ministry would approach the Finance ministry to provide funds so they could print their own passports, in an effort to avoid leakages and unnecessary expenses.
She said she would do all in her power to ensure that the ministry functioned properly with the limited resources at its disposal.
The RBZ has been accused of raiding millions of dollars from foreign currency accounts belonging to private firms, NGOs and even some individuals.
Government departments have also had money taken from their accounts. The Global Fund’s $7,3 million that was meant to fight diseases also went missing.
The RBZ, however, owned up and agreed to pay back the money.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) last month called on the central bank to reimburse millions of dollars in hard cash garnisheed from private companies at the height of the country’s economic crisis.
The organisation proposed that if the cash-strapped RBZ was unable to pay back the cash, it should consider tax rebates for affected companies as a repayment option.
“The money that the RBZ owes companies must be returned,” CZI president Joseph Kanyekanye said.
“It is money that is owed and it needs to come back. It is a little bit difficult to quantify it.
“I will leave that to the RBZ. But given the outcry out there, it must be substantial. It is nice to get the money back.
“There is nothing wrong in giving tax credits in lieu of outstanding payments.”