Treasury still to direct banks on inter-bank trade: MDC-T MP



MDC-T legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga has alleged that Finance minister Mthuli Ncube has not instructed banks to implement the United States dollar to RTGS dollar 1:2, 5 inter trade rate announced in his monetary policy statement, resulting in ordinary people failing to utilise the services.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga raised this as a matter of privilege on Tuesday in the National Assembly, where she told MPs that she personally went to seven different banks trying to change US dollars into RTGS dollars or bond notes, without success.

She said the banks told her that they had not yet received instructions to implement the new exchange rate that was announced last month by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya.

Recently, Mangudya told Parliament that, on average for the past three weeks since the inter-bank market started; around $12 million had been traded.

“I would like to raise, Madam Speaker (Tsitsi Gezi), as a matter of privilege, concerns around the Minister of Finance and Economic Development because we know that there were changes that were made to the exchange rate where we are supposed to be now using an interbank market rate, however, I want to just bring to your attention that today I visited seven banks and, none of the banks could change the US dollars that I had,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

“So the message that they are sending is that government has not yet given an instruction for them to change money using the inter-bank market rate, and I think it is a real problem,” she said.

She said at one of the banks she was told that if she wanted to change US$ into bond notes she must first deposit the money into her nostro account, and then make an application for her to be given bond notes. Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the other policy that was not being implemented related to removal of duty on sanitary wear.

“The House passed that sanitary wear must not be taxed, and I specifically asked the minister (Ncube) to indicate that we should not have a situation where sanitary wear is taxed. But as I speak right now, Zimra is still charging taxation on sanitary wear, particularly for the menstrual cups and for the pants at 50% ,” she said.

The MP said it was sad that Parliament approved things that were not implemented.

“I am, therefore, asking that we do call the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to this House so that he gives us an explanation on why those things that we pass in this House and agree on are not being implemented,” she said.