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Union to demonstrate over bank closures

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The Zimbabwe Banks and Allied Workers’ Union (Zibawu) will today stage a demonstration to pressure government to reform weak banking laws and stamp out corruption, which the organisation has blamed for bank failures.

BY ALOIS VINGA

The demonstration comes against a background where five institutions have closed in less than three years.

The recent casualties are Allied Bank and AfrAsia Bank that join Interfin, Capital Bank, Trust and Royal that closed down.

Peter Mutasa — Zibawu’s general secretary — attributed the closures to mismanagement and poor corporate governance.

“Our analysis shows that the bank closures were in the main, a result of poor corporate governance and outright fraud perpetrated by senior executives and shareholders. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has also failed to properly supervise these banks and prevent corruption,’’ Mutasa said.

Mutasa said that the banking laws in Zimbabwe do not pose a deterrence to would-be-perpetrators. He also expressed concern over the fact that most of the people who failed banks have not been brought to book.

He noted that demonstrators would congregate at the RBZ at mid-day and march to the Parliament of Zimbabwe where a petition would be delivered.

The union noted that last year, the senior managers at AfrAsia Bank had loans written-off. Zibawu has staged demonstrations against Stanbic Bank and Barclays Bank in the past against poor working conditions and the forthcoming march would be its first high-level demonstration.

Government is working on a raft of reforms to bring sanity in the banking sector. A number of banks that collapsed had the same ailment — weak corporate governance and insider loans that turned out to be non-performing akin to declaring dividend to directors and senior managers using depositors funds.

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