SENIOR officials in the MDC Alliance in Masvingo Province have claimed that their request to open bank accounts for the opposition party have been turned down by CBZ.
Zimbabwe’s government has a 16% stake in CBZ.
MDC Alliance spokesperson for Chiredzi West, Tobias Muzamani, told local publication Masvingo Mirror that his party tried to open a bank account with CBZ and two other financial institutions but it all failed.
“We made applications to more than three banks and they all showed a lot of reluctance to open an account in the name of the MDC Alliance.
“We strongly feel that they are afraid of reprisals from Zanu PF,” said Muzamani.
Muzumani added in some cases, for some strange reason, they were advised to circumvent the party and open an account as a co-operative instead
He said the bank account was meant for the party’s Chiredzi West district and the funds deposited therein were going to be used to support development projects in the constituency.
However, the close relationship between ruling party and CBZ have often hurt the financial institution in a big way. In August 2019, CBZ announced it had to assume debt totaling at least $160 million after President Mnangagwa’s som Emmerson Mnangagwa Jr., former First Lady Grace Mugabe and others defaulted on loans made from 2010 to 2014.
According to CBZ, the President’s son defaulted on a US$400,000 loan from the commercial bank. Grace Mugabe, who led the ruling Zanu-PF party’s women’s wing and had indicated interest in the Presidency for herself, is accused of failing to repay US$4.5 million to the bank.
Other prominent alleged borrowers named by the bank included Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Obert Mpofu, former Minister Ignatius Chombo, former Senate President Mabel Chinomona, and MDC Alliance legislator Job Sikhala.
CBZ management contracted lawyer and MDC Alliance vice president Biti, a former finance minister, to recover the debts.