Fifty companies are holding Zimbabwe to ransom as they hold half of the country’s bank balances and can therefore play havoc with the country’s exchange rate, central bank governor John Mangudya said.
He told ZTN News that the companies were under investigation but refused to disclose their names.
“50 percent of the deposits are owned by 50 corporates. This is 50 percent of $ 19 billion. It is easy for us to monitor movements on those accounts,” Mangudya said.
“If left, they can cause suffering. We must not allow such a thing to happen. We are not targeting an individual, we are targeting those with energy to influence the market”.
Zimbabwe floated the local currency which was then in the form of electronic money and bond notes in February this year.
It kicked off at an exchange rate of 2.5 to the greenback but the rate fell to nearly 30:1 before the central bank froze bank accounts of several companies that it accused of fuelling the black market.
Mangudya said the frozen accounts held about S1 billion.
The companies whose accounts were frozen are:
- Sakunda Holdings
- Access Finance
- Spartan Security
- Croco Motors
- Bill Height Investments Private Limited
- Landela Investments
- Rimosa Trading (Pvt) Ltd
- Fossil Agro (Pvt) Ltd
- Traverze Travel (Pvt) Ltd