Law Society drags Zimbabwe govt to Court over use of RTGS

THE Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has dragged Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube to court seeking an order declaring as unconstitutional the Presidential (Temporary Measures) Act, which President Emmerson Mnangagwa evoked to introduce the RTGS as a stand alone national currency.

Also cited as respondents are; Mnangagwa, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and its Governor, John Mangudya and the Attorney General of Zimbabwe (AG) Prince Machaya.

The Law Society also wants the actions of the respondents in ordering and effecting the conversion of US Dollar balances in their account into RTGS dollars in February 2019, be declared to have amounted to compulsory deprivation and expropriation of such foreign currency without adequate compensation.

“The actions of the respondents in compulsorily ordering and effecting the conversion of United States Dollar balances in the applicant’s account into RTGS in February 2019 amounted to compulsory deprivation and expropriation of such US dollars without adequate compensation and therefore breached section 71 (2) and (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” reads part of the Law Society founding affidavit.

The affidavit was prepared by LSZ executive secretary, Edwin Mapara.

The lawyers argue that consequent to the introduction of US dollar, it was allowed to open and operate using the currency.

They opened several bank accounts with Barclays Bank, CBZ Bank, Stanbic Bank and FBC Bank and at all material times transacted in US currency in respect of these accounts.

“The compulsory conversion of the applicant’s US dollar denominated assets and bank balances done in terms of statutory instrument 33 2019 did not serve any public interests.

“Such deprivation was not accompanied by any payment or tender of compensation to the applicant, the person affected by such deprivation,” said Mapara.

He added: “The deprivation amounted to violation of the applicant’s rights to property and such deprivation was done without the applicant’s consent.”

The LSZ boss said the society being the largest body representing legal practitioners in Zimbabwe also has an interest because the issues raised affect its membership daily.

The case is yet to be heard. – Newzim