Kasukuwere gives foreign banks ultimatum

HARARE - Combative Youth Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere has lashed out at foreign-owned banks and gave a stark warning “swim or sink.”

Known as “Tyson” in political circles, the youthful minister told a Zimbabwe Economic Society organised discussion that foreign donors have to learn to work with the government or stop what he described as anti-people projects.

“I want the owners or bosses at Barclays and Standard to come here and tell me what they have done, which projects they have supported. If they think we are going back they are dreaming. We can do without them."

“These two banks in particular should understand we are not interested in their appearance, we cannot sabotage our people because we want international names,” he said.

“Look at Barclays how they have downgraded their agri-business and closed almost all rural branches; we have $800 million coming from nostro accounts. We have people coming into mining supported by CBZ, it is not about you looking nice they have done nothing let them give me statistics, if they want to stay,” he said.

He said local banks will falter but it is part of the process of growing.

“I at any given time support Trust Bank, I will support the indigenous banks. Yes they will fall but it is part of the process of growing up like any other child, but they understand where we are coming from and where we are going,” said Kasukuwere.

Finance minister Tendai Biti and the Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono who have been battling Kasukuwere to protect foreign-owned banks expropriation have of late dumped their romance with the financial institutions because they are failing to support the indigenous people.

Presenting oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) two months ago, Gono said banks had dispatched $164,4 million, but Barclays bank had failed to give a single cent.

Addressing journalists on the state of the economy recently Biti concurred with Gono.

“We have been very protective of the banking sector. As ministry of Finance we have refused, and I think rightly so that we have protected them from the indigenisation sector.

“The governor of the Reserve Bank and myself put our heads on the block to say don’t touch this sector don’t disturb this sector but we are also not feeling that the financial sector is appreciative of the bullets that we have dodged on their behalf,” Biti said.

The Finance minister said banks have failed strategies after the economy collapsed forking the land reform.

Biti said his ministry is going to amend the Banking Act to ensure that involuntarily the banking sector plays a meaningful role in the economy.

Comments (1)

This semi literate nitwit really is in for a reality check and may it be long and painful! He is certainly no Tyson and his big mouth will destroy him. What is he going to take from the foreign banks??? A building and equipment??? small amounts of cash and then what? Please man we need educated and realistic persons who do not live in ZPF gaga land!!

Sabistar - 17 September 2012

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