HON. MARIDADI: After giving all the documents that you think the bank requires to open a bank account, they still require some more.
At one time I was so irritated; I asked the bank manager if he wanted me to give him the birth certificate of my mother’s boyfriend. That was how angry I was. You are required to give everything; your National Identity Card (I. D.), birth certificate and you are trying to open an account with three other signatories; you give them the details of these signatories, passport size photos and a host of other things that you cannot even imagine. Still after giving them those things, they will tell you we still want proof of residence. You bring proof of residence, they will say the surname on this person’s ID and the surname on the utility bill are not corresponding, you need an affidavit.
It will take you no less than two weeks to open a bank account here in Zimbabwe, yet as foreigner, if you go to China today; you walk into a Chinese bank; all they will ask you to provide is some form of identification. You provide your passport; in 10 minutes time, you come out of that bank with a bank account and an ATM card. In Zimbabwe, all the Hon. Members in this House can vouch for me, there is not a single one of these Hon. Members who was able to open a bank account within five working days. It must take more than one month to open a simple bank account in this country, and you talk of ease of doing business?
An investor with $1 million trying to open a bank account at CBZ, if it is going to take him three weeks, he is going to leave with his money and go to Zambia, Mozambique or South Africa. This is one area that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and those in authority must really look into – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! What needs to happen is that, I think our institutions, including the banks, need to be convinced and have a change of mindset. When His Excellency says Zimbabwe is open for business – that is a contradiction; because if Hon. Members by their very title are not honoured and tossed left, right and centre, that shows that the culture of business is still very colonial, I am afraid. I only promise that I will engage the Governor of the Reserve Bank to call upon the President of the Bankers’ Association to straighten up that one because we have no time. We only have four months to go – [HON.MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –