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Kasukuwere takes aim at banks

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Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere says as the empowerment drive shifts its focus to banks, there should be a change in attitude in the financial sector.

In a statement posted on his blog on Friday, Kasukuwere said progress was being made, adding that increasingly there was better understanding of issues than before.

I am sure as we now focus on the banking sector, we should see a change in attitude and the establishment of a positive and supportive culture within this sector, said Kasukuwere.

He said it was pleasing that communities had begun to benefit from the broad-based empowerment model being spearheaded by his ministry.

Fundamental change will always meet fundamental opposition and equally fundamental appreciation. We are changing our country.

I am extremely happy that we are chalking very good transactions that will change our country forever, he said.

Last week Kasukuwere met George Guvamatanga, Barclays Zimbabwe managing director, over the banks indigenisation proposal. Guvamatanga is the current Bankers Association of Zimbabwe president.

Addressing delegates that attended a symposium organised by the Affirmative Action Group, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, said the indigenisation programme was a process and not an event. The central bank chief said the programme should be monitored if it had to attain its objectives.

Indigenisation shouldnt be used for indiscipline, for economic banditry or for the cake going to the same people who benefited yesterday and will continue to benefit, said Gono at the meeting.

The money that is in the banks does not belong to Gono, or (George) Guvamatanga of Barclays Bank. It belongs to shareholders. It would be a great act of irresponsibility not to respect shareholders money.

In March this year Gono, vowed to resist moves by the government to seize majority shareholding in foreign-owned banks.

As long as I am governor I will protect the sector from unintended consequences. Instead of sharing an existing cake, I have said those who have an appetite for banking please come forward. I will issue licences rather than destroy existing banks, he said at the time.

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