The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe faced the seizure Friday of its property under a court order obtained by an agricultural equipment dealer who said the central bank never paid it US$2.1 million for tractors it had purchased.
An attorney for Farmtec Spares and Implements said the sheriff was moving to attach RBZ property to settle an unpaid bill related to the Farm Mechanization and Agricultural Support Enhancement Facility run by the bank.
The sheriff’s office started to attach bank property Thursday and was expected by the end of business Friday to fully execute the High Court order.
The RBZ is said to be close to collapse due to large amounts of unpaid debts which sources say far exceeds the institution's available funds and assets.
Lawyer Davison Kanokanga, representing Farmtec, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that if the sheriff did not find movable assets of sufficient value, fixed assets of the bank such as buildings could also be attached.
“I am now waiting for the deputy sheriff to come back to me with a report as to what assets he has been able to attach,” said Kanokanga.
“The writ of execution has a list of five properties which are owned by the RBZ which we would want the deputy sheriff to attach in the event that they are not enough movable assets to realize the judgment debt.”
Some of the properties listed are in Harare, the Manicaland capital of Mutare and the northeastern Zambezi River resort town of Kariba, he said.
The central bank ordered 150 tractors for the farm mechanization program and received 60 worth US$2.1 million, the Farmtec attorney said. The remaining 90 were to be delivered once the bank paid for the first consignment.
The farm mechanization scheme was one of the largest so-called quasi-fiscal activities conducted by the RBZ on behalf of the government and funded by printing vast amounts of Zimbabwean dollars, leading to the debasement of the currency and the second highest episode of hyperinflation in history.