Biti demands list of Zamco beneficiaries

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By AloisVinga

PARLIAMENT’s Public Accounts Committee has demanded that the Zimbabwe Asset Management Corporation (Zamco), makes public the full list of beneficiaries of government’s debt assumption policy amid revelations top government officials might have sneaked in personal loans.

Zamco’s chief executive, Cosmos Kanhai, who appeared before the committee chaired by former Finance Minister Tendai Biti was ordered to submit all statements outlining the beneficiaries whose loan were assumed as well as the sources of funding within a fortnight.

“Within the next two weeks you must submit a comprehensive list outlining whose debts were assumed by Zamco in order to clarify allegations that the bulk of beneficiaries are top government officials and politicians who chose to neglect their debts and just passed them over,” Biti said.

But Kanhai disputed the directive arguing that under the Customer Client Privileges, it was prohibited to disclose the beneficiaries since the corporation operates under bank regulations.

However Biti rejected Kanhai’s explanation arguing Zamco was not a bank and the clients do not have any rights because they are being bailed out by tax payers’ money hence the public’s right to know.

Kanhai relented and agreed to submit the details.

Biti quizzed Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mangudya’s wisdom in allowing  the use of Treasury Bills without parliamentary approval as required by law. Mangudya oversees Zamco operations.

In response, Mangudya claimed that in terms of the RBZ Act and in terms of ministerial directives, Zamco was empowered to operate on such a basis. Mangudya went on to accuse Biti of also failing to notify Parliament during his stint as Treasury Chief.

Zamco was established in 2014 with a 10-year mandate to rid the banking sector of all non-performing loans after which the special purpose vehicle was anticipated to wind down its operations. The corporation has to date acquired bad debts amounting to over US$1 billion from stressed companies that have the potential to be rehabilitated upon the injection of fresh capital.