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Zimbabwean Civic Groups Ask State to Reimburse Funds Looted by Central Bank

  • Gibbs Dube

The National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations and the Zimbabwe Civil Society Budget Coalition have submitted demands to Finance Minister Tendai Biti asking for reimbursement of funds which the RBZ misappropriated

Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations whose foreign exchange deposits at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe were misappropriated by the central bank between 2003 and 2008 have asked the government to provide for their reimbursement in the 2011 budget which Finance Minister Tendai Biti is to present later this month.

Sources said the National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations and the Zimbabwe Civil Society Budget Coalition have submitted their demands to Biti. The sources said the organizations fear the RBZ, which owes creditors more than US$1.5 billion, will never reimburse them, so are appealing to the state to make them whole.

Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the government will probably assume the RBZ debts as soon as appropriate legislation has been put in place. “The unity government has the ability to pass the necessary law so that the state can take over the RBZ debts,” Kuchera said.

The central bank's board recently resolved that the government should take over non-core assets of the central bank and liabilities amounting to some US$1.3 billion, with other debts settled by the RBZ through asset sales.

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