THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has said it has frozen funds in bank accounts that were being used for speculative purposes, adding that the funds have been seized and will now be invested in productive sectors.
The central bank insists such accounts were being used to hurt the domestic currency and driving price increases, thereby exerting pressure on inflation.
This was revealed by RBZ chief John Mangudya Tuesday afternoon at a briefing in Harare for media and banking sector executives.
The meeting followed the central bank’s first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Monday and Tuesday this week.
Mangudya, however, said the idle cash was not ill-gotten wealth, although it was being used speculatively.
He also said 50 corporates hold half the total banking sector deposits of $17 billion and the companies were behind money market activities that were hurting the domestic unit introduced in February this year.
While the official interbank rate is now around US$1 to $15,6 from US$1 to $2,5 when the exchange rate was liberalised in February and the interbank market introduced, the rate should be around US$1 to between $5 and $8.
The accounts include, but not limited to those for Sakunda, Access Finance, Spartan Security, Croco Motors and related companies, which were frozen last month by the bank’s financial intelligence unit.