We want our money, Biti told

HARARE - Zimbabwe's Depositors Protection Committee has implored Finance minister Tendai Biti to pressure commercial banks to compensate depositors who lost their money in the switch-over from the Zimbabwe dollar to a multi-currency regime.

Vusi Bvuma, president of the Depositors Protection Committee told members of Parliament’s Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion portfolio committee, on Thursday that the public has lost confidence in the banking sector due to their failure to reimburse their monies, hence the need for government to intervene.

“There is lack of public confidence because many people lost their monies through dollarisation and nothing has been done to compensate them,” Bvuma said.

“The ministry of Finance has to find a mechanism to repay the depositors. Our investigations show that we have more than $3,8 billion circulating in the informal sector, because of lack of confidence in the banking sector.”

Foreign account holders whose monies were raided by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe need to get their cash as well, Bvuma said, adding they were equally disappointed that nothing has been done to reimburse cash they lost.

Biti is on record acknowledging that government and banks have an obligation to compensate depositors who lost their monies.

Zimbabwe adopted a multi-currency regime in 2009, after the value of local currency was wiped out by rampaging hyperinflation.

The Budget, Finance and Investment Promotion Portfolio committee chaired by Zanu PF legislator for Goromonzi North Paddy Zhanda  has been conducting public hearings on the 2013 national budget.

Last week, the committee criss-crossed the length and breadth of the country gathering public views on the 2013 national spending plan, which the minister of Finance is due to present to Parliament on Thursday, November 15, 2012.

The Committee will wrap up the public consultation process and compile its report whose recommendations will be submitted to the minister of Finance at the pre-budget seminar scheduled for November 1 to 4, 2012.

The objective of these public consultative meetings is to engender a participatory policy framework based on a bottom-up approach to strategic policy making in Zimbabwe, a departure from the previous tradition.

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