RBZ dragged to court over $1, 1 million

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LOCAL company Profert Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd has taken the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to the High Court where it is demanding that the latter  pay back ZWL1, 1 million for its liabilities it failed to approve.

The local company which imports goods into the country is seeking an order compelling the central bank to pay ZWL$1 112 451 together with interests at the rate prescribed pursuant to the Prescribed Rate of Interest Act from October 16 2019 to  May 15 2020.

In its declaration, Profert said last year it had outstanding foreign obligations to Profert (Pyt)Ltd , a South African Company  amounting to US$3 619 288.

These liabilities arose in the course of the running of the local company’s business and decided to engage RBZ to register its liability and be able to use its blocked funds.

“The plaintiff (Profert (Pvt) Ltd) through its banking agent Stanbic Bank approached the defendant (RBZ) with a view of registering its foreign liability and legacy debt to Profert(Pty) Ltd  in accordance with the Exchange Control Directive to Authorised Dealers Ru28/2019 issued by the Defendant’s Exchange Control Division on 22 February 2019 and blocked funds framework as set out in Defendant’s Exchange Control Circular 08 dated  24July 2019,” read the summons.

In order to be eligible to utilise the blocked funds framework, Profert Company was asked to transfer the outstanding foreign liability amounts in Zimbabwean dollars to the defendant and it complied.

Subsequently, due to a change in RBZ’s block funds requirements, the company discovered that liabilities in relation to bills of entry prior to 1 January 2016 would not be approved by the central bank.

However, a letter dated  October 10 2016 2019 stated that the local company requested the immediate return of ZWL$2 506 836 which represented its liabilities to Profert (Pty) Ltd relating to goods imported prior to January 1 2016.

As a result on 30 April 2020, RBZ notified the company that its registration of blocked funds of US$1 112 451 to Profert (Pty)Ltd was not approved.

This made Profert(Pvt) Ltd on 16 October last year requested RBZ to immediately return all the money it had transferred but only transferred RTGS2 506 836 was transferred  back on 15May this month.

RBZ is yet to respond to the summons.

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