Maridadi says it’s so difficult to open a bank account

James Maridadi

Mabvuku-Tafara Member of Parliament James Maridadi yesterday said while the saying: “Zimbabwe is open for business”, is now the buzzword, it is so difficult to open a bank account that at one time he got so irritated while trying to open a Constituency Development Fund account that he asked the bank manager whether the manager wanted him to give him the birth certificate of his mother’s boyfriend.

He was speaking during a debate on how difficult it was for legislators to open bank accounts which would be transparent to their constituencies.

Maridadi said one is tossed left, right and centre and it takes about two weeks to open an account.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda said he would talk to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya to make sure the banks change their colonial mindset because legislators have only four months to use the money.

Hon. Mutseyami having risen to give a point of order.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Why did you not do it immediately after Hon. Misihairabwi-Mushonga?

HON. MUTSEYAMI: Sorry, I was giving room for my Hon. Speaker to conduct the business of the House smoothly.

THE HON. SPEAKER: No, no, we do not want to act in staccatos.

HON. MUTSEYAMI: My apologies Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you.

HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I have a take note item on behalf of the Parliamentarians, with regards to our Constituency Development Fund (CDF). We need to acknowledge that the CDF is coming through and the Members of Parliament are moving with regard to the Constitution – however, it is more serious Mr. Speaker Sir, to take note that we have issues that we agreed on behalf of Parliamentarians with regard to the Minister and the Speaker was available, but up to today, some issues have not been resolved regarding what we agreed in Victoria Falls.

It is important that we take note of this item so that these two issues are resolved henceforth, within time. It is also important that you advocate for us to have a solution to these issues before the life of the Eighth Parliament comes to an end. We do not want a situation whereby former Parliamentarians will come to have their issues resolved. It is important and you have to take note that as a result of the situation that we have and the life that we are living, some Members of Parliament are going beyond this life without enjoying their monies as a result of death due to a lot circumstances.

So, it is important Mr. Speaker Sir, to deal with this matter as a matter of urgency. It must be taken note of by the Minister and the Speaker that these two issues are resolved. I will not dwell much on that, but will acknowledge the issue of CDF. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. On the question of CDF, the ball is in the court of the Hon. Members.  Do what is required of by the Constitution and then draw down that money because you have; I am sure about four months to go and you need to really work hard to ensure that you promote those projects that have been identified in the various constituencies. The second part was a bit vague; you simply said all those things that are outstanding. I was not sure what you were talking about.

Hon. Maridadi having approached the Chair.

The Hon. Member has favoured me with the two items which seem to be very administrative and we are going to make sure that his concerns are addressed; which are also the concerns of all Members of Parliament – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –

HON. MARIDADI: Mr. Speaker Sir, concerning almost the same matter that was raised by Hon. Mutseyami, ease of doing business is a buzz word in this country. I am sure all the Hon. Members here with constituencies that are trying to access CDF would agree with me that opening a bank account in Zimbabwe is the most difficult thing that you could ever imagine – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] – It will take you no less than two weeks – at one time I went to the bank and I said I have provided all the documents – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –

THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Can you lend the Hon. Member an ear?

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.] – Insider



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