As the Zimbabwe black currency rates ran wild towards the end of last week, the country’s reserve bank(RBZ ) froze business accounts belonging to Sakunda Holdings, Access Finance, Croco Motors and Spartan Securities.
According to The Standard, the decision to freeze these accounts initially came on Wednesday after the Financial Intelligence Unit reportedly picked information that the companies identified were the ones pouring in over $1 Billion into the black market to mop up the USD.
Sakunda is owned by the president’s ally Kuda Tagwireyi while Spartan is reportedly owned by Tarisai Mnangagwa.
RBZ Sources that spoke to the publication said:
A memo was drafted and sent to the Presidents’ Office for approval. It detailed security risks that the country faced if the exchange rate was not dealt with. It stated that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration could be in trouble as the exchange rate movement was now causing havoc in the economy.
An emergency meeting was held by the FIU team to look into the situation amid fears that by Friday, runners for these firms were vowing to take the rate to US$1: Z$30. A decision had to me made instantly and two options were available: either to use the Zanu PF youth league deputy secretary Lewis Matutu to name and shame those behind the ‘heinous act’ or to instruct a freeze of their accounts.
The president was made aware of the decision considering that two of his own were involved, Tagwirei and Tarisai Mnangagwa (Spartan Securities), a nephew(some say his biological son with another woman), as well as a member of his close security.
He did not object, especially after being told that if the matter was not dealt with urgently, it could cause an uproar. He said ‘as long as it was in the national interest, it must be done.
The rate tumbled to US$1: Z$15 on Friday night after a rumour went out that those accounts had been frozen. According to The Standard, The money being bought by these guys’ runners was supposed to be used to buy command agriculture inputs and flashy cars for ministers. The RBZ order to freeze these accounts has since been lifted according to the Standard but the information is not verified.