Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has frozen the accounts of Sakunda and other firms, in what bankers believe is part of a war over the forex black market.
A letter on Thursday from Wonder Kapofu of the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) ordered banks to stop all withdrawals and transfers from the accounts of Sakunda, Access Finance, Spartan Security, Croco Motors and related companies.
“As we carry out further analysis, you are directed to freeze, with immediate effect, all accounts held in the names of the listed entities until further notice,” the order said.
“You shall not process any withdrawals or transfers from the accounts; you should, however, allow deposits or other flows into the accounts. You shall immediately report to the Unit any deposit or other inflow into the accounts as well as any attempted withdrawal or transfer from the accounts. Please acknowledge receipt of this directive in writing, confirming that you have frozen the accounts and confirming the account balance as at the date of freezing.”
Kapofu does not give reasons for the directive, but bankers speculate this is part of a broader investigation by the FIU into forex trades that have driven up the black exchange rate over recent days.
Sakunda has been the largest conduit of controversial government funding for agriculture, under Command Agriculture. The company holds a virtual monopoly over fuel distribution in the country, the freezing of its accounts could impact on supply.
Access Finance is a licenced financial services company, which runs several forex bureaux.
Spartan is linked to Israeli businessman Luka Ignatius Fabris. In 2017, Fabris went to court after he was defrauded of over US$160 000 by a woman who had claimed she could give him access to Grace Mugabe in exchange for the cash and some farm implements.
Croco Motors has, for years, been one of the major vehicle suppliers to government.