MYSTERY surrounds the whereabouts of documents at Agribank containing names of beneficiaries of the controversial government’s $60 billion dollar loan disbursed through the land bank last yea
Although management has decided to keep a tight lip on the issue because of its sensitivity, insiders told businessdigest that it was now “proving difficult to find some files about borrowed funds”.
The revelation comes as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has moved into Agribank to try and help it recover the money.
Agribank is currently undergoing various structural and management changes.
The bank recently appointed former RBZ deputy governor, Sam Malaba, to take over from Taka Mutunhu as chief executive officer.
Agribank, which was set up to service the farming community, was restructured from the beleaguered Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC), a former loss-making parastatal that milked money from the fiscus.
Malaba recently confirmed that Agribank was now scrutinising all activities and potential clients with a view to rectifying the issue of loans dished out to mainly new small-scale farmers under the fast-track land resettlement programme.
Insiders say the loans were being abused with some individuals buying luxury vehicles, residential and industrial stands and properties instead of inputs and agricultural equipment such as tractors.
“The bank is now asking for several things before one is given a loan,” a customer said. “Many applications are now being rejected with those who received monies being asked to account for it.”
RBZ governor Gideon Gono in his monetary statement review confirmed that there was a “scam” within the agricultural sector and individuals were abusing loans because of a “poor accounting system in place”.
This is not the first time confidential documents have disappeared in state entities.
Files have gone missing when senior officials were alleged to have abused facilities and disappeared with billions of taxpayers’ money in various other scams.