ROGUE bank executives and shareholders who abuse depositors’ funds must be jailed, as such criminal activities cannot go unpunished, President Robert Mugabe has said.
Report by Taurai Mangudhla
Addressing delegates at the Indigenisation conference held in Harare on Wednesday this week, Mugabe said taking depositors’ funds entrusted to a financial institution was tantamount to theft and should not go unpunished.
“If you do that then you deserve to go to jail. They are not your funds so don’t cheat or steal,” Mugabe said, adding abuse of depositors’ funds was common among fly-by-night bankers.
“Some of our people think they can get rich in a week or two and if they can’t then it doesn’t matter what other means they use to get money,” Mugabe said. “You start a bank, people deposit their funds, after two years you see you are not what you thought you would be and yet you see lots of money. Others gamble with the money and they lose.”
He said bankers and all indigenous businesses should adopt good ethics and protect the interest of their clients and investors.
Mugabe’s remarks dovetail with Finance minister Tendai Biti’s statement that bogus local businessmen are opening banks to take advantage of unsuspecting depositors for personal enrichment.
Last week, international audit firm KPMG recommended the curator of Interfin Banking Corporation (Interfin) to consider civil action and criminal charges against the directors and shareholders of the bank.