Drama as RBZ vehicles attached

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Several vehicles belonging to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) have been attached after the central bank failed to settle a SeedCo International Private Limited debt.

A NewsDay crew that visited the RBZ headquarters Thursday witnessed several vehicles belonging to the central bank being towed away by the Deputy Sheriff.

Senior bank officials, in an apparent bid to save their vehicles from confiscation, could be seen giving instructions to fellow employees, unaware of the development, not to drive into the RBZ parking lot where the Deputy Sheriff had laid siege.

Sources told this paper that SeedCo was owed $4,2 million by the central bank.

“The money is for the inputs the central bank used to distribute a few years ago as parts of its efforts to assist farmers,” sources said.

The RBZ also owes other local companies and non-governmental organisations $1,1 billion which it unilaterally garnished from their foreign currency accounts between 2004 and 2008.

Over the last few years, the central bank engaged in costly non-core activities such as farm mechanisation and parastatals and local authorities reform.

Such departments as mechanisation, parastatals and special projects have since been shut down while others have been downsized.

The central bank in January retrenched 1 455 employees out of its 1 948 workers.

Parliament last year passed legislation curtailing the central bank from engaging in quasi-fiscal activities.

This has led to the refocusing of the bank on core activities centred around bank licensing, supervision and surveillance; financial markets and sector stability; exchange control; economic research and policy enhancement; anti-money laundering and prevention of terrorist financing; bank to government and lender of last resort activities; and policy and price stability advice to government.