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Zimbabwe FM Biti Said to Call for Curatorship for Debt-Laden Reserve Bank

  • Gibbs Dube

Objections to Biti’s proposal are said to have come from top officials of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party who do not want public disclosure of delinquent loans made in years past by the central bank

With the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe mired in crisis, Finance Minister Tendai Biti is said to have called for the appointment of a curator to manage the central bank’s debts of more than one billion U.S. dollars.

Reports said Biti favors the appointment of a judicial manager through legislation which would set up a curator’s office to address the bank’s huge liabilities. Others have suggested that President Robert Mugabe issue a decree to protect the central bank from creditors who have obtained court orders to auction off bank assets.

Objections to Biti’s proposal are said to have come from top officials of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF party who do not want public disclosure of delinquent loans made in years past by the central bank.

Harare economist John Robertson questioned whether Zimbabwe has the capacity to name a curator for the central bank, saying the country may need to turn to the international financial community for help.

Robertson told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that some in ZANU-PF may not want an independent curator digging into their past transactions with the bank. “These politicians may prefer to have someone they will manipulate than a person who will unearth some shady RBZ deals,” he said.

Economist Rejoice Ngwenya said that Zimbabwe should set up a monetary policy committee to run the country’s monetary system instead of appointing a curator for the bank.

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