Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube was yesterday grilled in Parliament over the country’s economic situation and was only allowed to step down when the Speaker Jacob Mudenda assured the legislators that some of the questions would be answered in his ministerial statement which was also issued yesterday.
Below is the full question and answer session.
HON. C. MAHLANGU: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Deposits of United States Dollar in Nostro accounts are being given various conditions upon withdrawal. Is it Government to put such conditions and if so, can you outline what are the conditions as approved by Government? As of now, the conditions vary from bank to bank. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (PROF. M. NCUBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for asking such a pertinent question. Let me begin by saying that I am going to give a State of the Economy Report later and then I will address a broad range of issues. The Government does not vary policy from bank to bank, absolutely. The first condition is that for you to withdraw your money is that there must be money in the account in the first place. Perhaps what the Member is being confronted with is just a different bank practice. Maybe that is what is going on. I do not know who they bank with. If it is not a good bank, they should move to the next bank so that they are treated accordingly, but we do not have a variation of policy on this issue. As long as there is a deposit in your nostro account, you should be able to withdraw your monies upon demand, unless your specific bank has specific regulations to which you have consented to, as a customer. Otherwise, you should not be staying with that bank, you should move on to the next bank. Thank you very much.
HON. CHIKWINYA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. First point, the Minister qualifies banks – some as good or bad, if he may tell us the characteristics of a good bank and a bad bank, because we all know that his Ministry licenses them. My second issue is what is the recourse for clients in the event that the common condition is that we must have money in our banks for us to be able to withdraw and that is a given. What is the recourse if a bank then gives me conditions outside that which the Minister has said?
HON. PROF. M. NCUBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I thank the Hon. Member for that question. I did not categorise the banks. I merely mentioned that the services from bank to bank may vary and it is normal for services to vary from service provider to service provider within the same industry. They confront that every day and he is aware of that differential across our service providers. On the issue of recourse, of course, we have a regulator that regulates the banks in the form of the Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. You have the ability to approach them. You are also to approach the Minister as well, if you do not receive enough or adequate relief on this issue so that we level the playing field, so that you are not treated unfairly and banks give the services that they ought to give. There is no issue about differential banks in terms of good or bad. It is only quality of service, that is what they do and I urge Members to make sure that they continue to bank with those who give them a good service. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
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