Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) president Deon Theron told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that the money was in export proceeds due to farmers but was diverted by the central bank to fund quasi-fiscal activities before the formation of the coalition government in February 2009.
“We are compiling the information and already from the few farmers who have come forward we have established that the amount looted from their accounts is about US$20 million and our projection is that the amount will more than double once we have got everyone coming up with information,” Theron said.
Theron said the farmers would resort to legal action because efforts to recover the money had failed.
“Once we have finished gathering information from affected CFU members we will launch a legal suit against the RBZ and the lawsuit will be a joint court action on behalf of all our members,” Theron said.
Farmers and businesses involved in the export market lost their savings with the RBZ in 2007 and 2008 when the central bank diverted funds from export accounts to fund controversial quasi-fiscal programmes at the height of the economic crisis. Funds to support HIV/Aids programmes were also diverted by the central bank during that time.
The lawsuit by CFU will add pressure on the RBZ which has lost property worth millions of dollars through auctions. The RBZ has failed to pay debtors resulting in the debtors resorting to legal action in a bid to recover what they are owed by the central bank.
The government through the Finance ministry has said it will put in measures to stop the auctioning of RBZ properties by those owed money by the RBZ. –– Staff Writer.