BY CHARLES LAITON
The High Court yesterday reserved judgment in a case in which a local firm is challenging the decision by its bank CABS to give it bond notes for the United States dollars deposited in its account in 2016.
The matter was head before High Court judge Justice Happias Zhou.
The Stone/Beattie Studios, represented by former Finance minister Tendai Biti, is suing CABS, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and Finance minister Mthuli Ncube.
The matter was filed last November when the company failed to access the US dollars deposited in its account in 2016.
According to both architects, who are registered with the Architects Council of Zimbabwe (ACZ), sometime in 2011 they opened the Stone/Beattie Studios partnership savings account with CABS, with a view to rebuild the firm’s practice.
The architects further said by the end of 2016, their account held with CABS had US$142 000 balance in hard currency.
The two directors claim that after RBZ governor John Mangudya introduced export incentives, they wrote to CABS with a view to protect their cash deposit, but their bank decided to pay them in bond notes in November last year when they wanted to withdraw the money.
But CABS lawyer, Godknows Nyangwa argued that the applicant has not shown that they deposited hard currency into their account nor have they shown that offshore payments were deposited therein.
“The first respondent does not have a duty to return money to the applicants in the form that they deposited it. The transaction was not of depositum or bailment,” said Nyangwa.
However, Justice Zhou then asked Nyangwa if it was possible for a person to be given US$100, but decides to repay the same amount using firewood. In his response, Nyangwa said the application ought to fail on the basis that the law regulating currency in Zimbabwe is a law of general application.
RBZ lawyer advocate Lewis Uriri echoed CABS sentiments saying The Stone/Beattie Studios, having tendered in a recognised legal tender, it was now obliged to accept the same in bond notes, as an imperative obligation.