Govt says secures guarantee for RTGS bank balances

GOVERNMENT yesterday claimed it has secured a guarantee from the Afreximbank to ring-fence the estimated $6 billion real time gross settlement (RTGS) bank balances in bank accounts, but critics rounded on the claim as “hot air” based on past experiences.


Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, who is currently in Indonesia at the IMF/ World Bank meetings, without disclosing the details said the Africa Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) would also provide a guarantee for nostro foreign currency accounts (FCAs) to help steady the economy.

“Today in Bali, Indonesia at the IMF/ World Bank meetings, I had a fruitful discussion with the president of Afreximbank, Oramah. Afreximbank has offered Zimbabwe a facility to guarantee 1:1 convertibility of RTGS and availability of US dollar for Nostro FCAs,” Ncube wrote on his Twitter handle yesterday.

He said RTGS value would not be eroded and would be safeguarded.

“Government recognised concerns surrounding RTGS deposits and we commit to preserve the value of these balances on the current rate of exchange of 1 to 1 in order to protect people’s savings,” Ncube said in a statement.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office later released a similar statement.

But opposition figures and economists said the government’s pronouncements on currency were a hard sell.

Economist Godfrey Kanyenze said the guarantees by Afreximbank meant nothing to the man on the street unless he or she can walk into the bank and walk out with US dollars after its previous guarantee of bond notes failed to hold their value.

The bond note was yesterday trading at a premium of 300% on the black market.

“Afreximbank does nothing to inspire confidence. They ‘gave’ us a $200 million facility to deal with the problems that continued to surround the bond notes and liquidity,” Kanyenze said.

“It did not resolve the liquidity crunch, so now if they say, ‘well, there is a guarantee’, nobody sees the guarantee.
Everyone wants to get hold of the hard currency. It is only when we see the hard currency, that I can go into a bank, or an ATM [automated teller machine] and get my money. That’s the confidence that people need.”

Kanyenze said the current crisis could only be resolved through dialogue and not Press statements in the face of closures by top brands including fast-foods outlet KFC, clothing retail outlet Edgars and major wholesalers, despite Ncube vowing government would not allow a repeat of 2008.

Remarks by Ncube came while the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries was locked up in a crisis meeting with business as the market continued to refuse transactions in RTGS and bond notes.

Former Finance minister Tendai Biti accused government of lying and manipulating figures to suit its agenda.

“The broad money supply is in excess of $11 billion, cash and coins are probably around $8 billion. So the Afreximbank, who are worth $5 billion, cannot guarantee a debt of $8 billion and besides, that’s not their job,” Biti said.

“The mandate of the African Export and Import Bank is to guarantee trade and those balances are not under trade. Its outside their mandate.

“So Mthuli is not telling the truth and the bank does not have such a mandate and, secondly, it does not have necessary resources.”

Biti said ring-fencing of RTGS bank balances was a critical move which had to be done in a legal way, where its debated in Parliament and oversight exercised before any borrowing and debts are added on.

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  1. The bank accounts we currently have were opened as FCAs. May the minister of Finamce tell us when these accounts stopped being FCAs. It looks like from 2007, we have been working for nothing. Government has now perfected the art of refusing to allow us to withdraw our money, and then vandalising our accounts until the balances held are not money anymore. It happened when we dollarized in 2009, and it’s now happening. Soon we will be told to open new FCAs as if our bank accounts are not currently FCAs, then when our accounts are fat with USDs, we will be told that we cannot withdraw the money, then later we will be told to open yet new FCAs, and so on and so on. When will the theft stop?

    1. Are the elites in charge mad or corrupt or perhaps both.
      “The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results’

      Sadly if the situation is permitted to continue then some might argue that ‘man on the street’ is the mad bugger.

      Why if re-electing zpf would you expect a different result…. The cosmetic changes to the administration are simply an example of that old adage about shuffling chairs on the Titanic. The Titanic only sank once though. What a tragedy for Zimbabwe – the elites though will do alright.

    2. Loveness Shambamuto

      we were already told to open new FCAs this week.

  2. tendai chaminuka

    Anyone who flip flops on policy according to his surrounding is either a nyepa or a total failure.Nhasi tiri kuBritain toti Bond is not equivalent to US$ pedyo nekumba toti its one to one.Musatambe nehupenyu hwevanhu and you should not make experiments on poor people,do it on politicians and journalists rather

  3. Its a complete Joke! A charade!

  4. So they got the money in less than a day and the deals were done.We are not kids.

  5. I do not think there is any party or government in this world which can match Zanu pf government in destroying the lives of the ordinary

  6. Ed and Mthuli definitely know exactly what they want and this has been the kind of leadership Zimbabwe has been waiting for all these decades. Welldone Murambwi and Mukanya, keep it up guys. When I learnt of the recent austerity measures you committed to with regard to the normalisation of our fiscus, I new some reward would come although I was never sure in what form but now I have the answer. Vanovukura regai vakadaro imi muchishanda, muchingoshanda, mugongoshanda , Zimbabwe yedu igobudirira ivo vachingovukura.

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