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Chinamasa given a torrid time in Parliament over cash shortages

*HON. ZIYAMBI:  I am grateful for the response by the Minister but what I would like to assure the Minister is that, whatever rule you may put in place or even mandatory incarceration which you have already done in the past, has been of no use as people continue to carry out money laundering.  I am making a preamble so that when I then ask my question I will be understood.  When we talk about money laundering, it has been done through many ways even in the banks.  When you want to go abroad, they say come and deposit some cash with us so that we can allocate you some foreign currency.  So, I am appealing to the Minister to work on this ruling.  We were told that the bond notes were equivalent to the US$ but when we want to go abroad we are told to bring cash yet we have money in the bank.  Why should I deposit some more cash when I already have money in the bank?  So my question is based on the question asked by Hon Mapiki.  Not only are the people selling money in the streets but the bankers are also falling into that category.  Banks are into money laundering yet the Minister is saying that banks are not selling money but when you want to travel abroad you are asked to deposit cash into your account so that you get foreign currency.  In other words, they are encouraging us to go onto the street to get money to deposit into our accounts.

*HON. CHINAMASA:  Let me elaborate on what is being said by Hon. Ziyambi.  I did not deny that there is money laundering but I have never been part and parcel of this money laundering business.

HON. P. D. SIBANDA:  On a point of order Mr. Speaker Sir.  My point of order arises from the answers that are coming from the Minister.  He seems to indicate that he does not know what is taking place in the sector in which he is in charge.  I just wanted to find out if the Hon Minister is still responsible for finance and whether he is still staying in this country to the extent that he does not know what is happening in the sector in which he is in charge?

HON. CHINAMASA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, please let me clarify the position.  We receive reports and so, I cannot be a witness to an illegal sale, but we receive the reports through the Central Bank.  People are reporting a lot of banks as well as individuals who are flouting the law.  They report to the department which supervises the commercial banks and there are some commercial banks which have been penalised for that sort of thing.  There are some bank managers who have also been caught violating the law but I cannot stand here and say that I am a witness to an illegal sale of foreign currency because I am not.  Therefore, the point I want to make is that anybody who has knowledge of any transactions which are illegal are entitled to report to the Central Bank which has authority to pursue and investigate the matters.

*HON. CHIBAYA:  If we move around our banks in the country, we see lots of queues of people wanting to withdraw money yet if you go to Road Port, you will see people indulging in money laundering.  These people have trunks full of money and yet we have never seen them being arrested or being questioned.  How did they manage to accumulate such funds when banks have nothing to give to depositors?

HON. CHINAMASA:  These matters come under the authority of the Central Bank and I will refer the matters to them for action.  – [HON. MEMBERS:  Inaudible interjections.] –

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