The Zimbabwe High Court has granted a company owned by Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, a ZANU-PF politburo member, an order to evict the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe from premises where it has not paid rent.
Reports said the central bank owes Trebo and Khays Investments US$32,000 in back rent accrued since February 2009. The warehouse in Bulawayo houses machinery, equipment and motor vehicles.
Attorney Sindiso Mazibisa, representing Trebo Investments, declined to comment. But High Court sources said the company has not yet obtained a writ of execution allowing it to attach and auction RBZ property to recover debts.
Bulawayo-based legal commentator Kucaca Phulu said that while the minister’s company has the right to seek help from the High Court, it seemed ironic that Mpofu has taken the bank to court when ZANU-PF has so often in the past defended RBZ’s so-called quasi-fiscal activities funding government operations.
“The minister has in the past been supporting Governor Gideon Gono saying he has done a wonderful job but now he finds himself prosecuting a claim against the RBZ for outstanding rentals,” Phulu said.
Creditors are pursuing the central bank seeking to recover millions of dollars for goods the central bank ordered as government agent for farm mechanization and other programs, but failed to pay for.