RBZ vehicles deal backfires

HARARE - A car dealer has accused the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) of flouting exchange control laws after conducting a transaction in United States dollars before the country adopted the multi-currency
system.

The allegation arose in an application filed by RBZ against Borrowdale Auto Private, in which the central bank is demanding “outstanding” vehicles from the firm.

According to court papers, RBZ purchased motor vehicles from Borrowdale Auto Private in 2007.

“The Plaintiff (RBZ) duly paid the purchase price on December 6, 2007 and the top up on December 11, 2007, it being agreed by the parties that the motor vehicles would be delivered immediately on payment,” the RBZ said in its application.

According to the RBZ, Borrowdale Auto Private only managed to supply part of the consignment, thereby breaching the sale agreement.

“The defendant (Borrowdale Auto Private) has, despite demand, failed to deliver the outstanding motor vehicles to date despite promising to do so,” the central bank said.

However, Borrowdale Auto Private, represented by Bruce Blake, said it delivered all the vehicles and did not owe RBZ anything.

“He (Blake) quoted all the vehicles in US dollars but had an arrangement with plaintiff that all invoices should reflect Zimbabwean dollars so that plaintiff would not fall foul with itself in regards to exchange control regulations,” said Blake.

He added: “Because of the confusion in the plaintiff’s office, it demanded a refund for vehicles it had already received resulting in talks after talks until the refund issue got overtaken by the decommissioning of the Zim currency.”

The matter is still to be heard in the High Court. - Tendai Kamhungira

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