Zimbabwe's Sheriff's Office has attached five buildings belonging to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and may auction them to settle a US$2.1 million debt owed to an agricultural machinery concern, a legal source said Tuesday.
Lawyer Davison Kanokanga, representing Farmtec Supplies and Implements, said the properties were attached by court order on Friday and Saturday.
Kanokanga told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that in the event movable assets already seized by the sheriff did not cover the unpaid bills for tractors ordered by the central bank, the buildings would go under the hammer.
Bulawayo-based attorney Job Sibanda, a specialist in civil actions, said the attachments of Reserve Bank properties had further dented the central bank’s reputation and creditworthiness.
The deeply indebted central bank, which some sources say is insolvent and close to collapse as its liabilities exceed its assets, ordered 150 tractors under the country's Farm Mechanization and Agricultural Support Enhancement Facility before the current unity government was formed in 2009.
Farmtec supplied 60 tractors worth US$2.1 million and the remaining 90 were to be delivered once the bank had 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 worst episode of hyperinflation in history.