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Biti caught offside

Former Finance Minister and Movement for Democratic Change secretary-general Tendai Biti has been caught offside. He is reported to have instructed the National Social Security Authority, the government pension fund, to bail out a bank that belonged to the brother of an MDC colleague to the tune of US$20 million. NSSA general manager James Matiza told the parliamentary committee today that Biti ordered NSSA to bail out Capital Bank whose major shareholder was Patterson Timba, brother of Jameson Timba, a close ally of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The bank was known as Renaissance Merchant Bank at the time. Matiza said Biti had written NSSA a letter on 16 May 2011 instructing the authority to invest US$20 million. His former colleague Sam Sipepa Nkomo who was Water Resources Minister said cabinet never agreed to bail out Capital Bank. “I was not a loafer in cabinet. I do not remember that issue coming to cabinet,” Sipepa Nkomo said according to The Herald. Biti denied issuing such an instruction saying if any money was invested in Capital Bank the decision was taken by the curator and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

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