Chinotimba questions Chinamasa on bank charges in the National Assembly

The following exchange took place in the National Assembly when Buhera South legislator Joseph Chinotimba accused banks of robbing people through high bank charges for swiping and transferring money.

HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir for giving me this opportunity to direct my question to the Minister of Finance.  I asked him yesterday but I want this put on record.  Minister, people are being robbed of their money especially the old women who want to live in peace; they are being robbed because we are using plastic money and swipe machines.  You will realise that when you buy a loaf of bread using swipe machine for just a $1, the bank charges you $5 for that transaction.  That means the cost of bread is $6. If a customer buys a shirt for $20 from a shop…

*THE HON. SPEAKER:  Order, order, Hon. Chinotimba.  May you please go straight to your point?  Do not give narratives, please ask your question.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  My question Mr. Speaker Sir is that good practice or it is daylight robbery that when you swipe, the bank charges are so high.  When you buy bread for a $1, the bank charges are $5.  If you make an RTGS transaction, an amount of $5 is deducted as bank charges, if you withdraw cash, you will also have some deductions made on your account but if you are using cash, there are no deductions.  Now does it mean that we are being encouraged to use plastic money so that we may enrich financial institutions?  May we please have an explanation to this daylight robbery that is going on to people who use swipe and yet receive such high bank charges?

*HON. CHINAMASA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I would like to thank Hon. Chinotimba for asking such a pertinent question regarding financial transactions using swipe machines, whereby an individual who buys a loaf of bread for $1 and the bank charges are $5.  This means the cost of bread is now $6.  My response is, if that is happening in the banks, this is daylight robbery.  I will hold discussions with the Reserve Bank Governor, Dr. Mangudya so that this anomaly is rectified.

My request to Hon. Chinotimba and other affected victims of this daylight robbery, I would like them to submit proof that they bought something for such an amount such as bread and the transaction cost is $5.  On this particular day, I withdrew a certain amount and $10 was deducted.  I am appealing to the people of Zimbabwe, the business people of Zimbabwe and individuals to submit proof to the RBZ Governor and this problem will be resolved.

*HON. CHINOTIMBA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, my supplementary question is, he is the Minister of Finance under whose his ambit the RBZ falls.  Why should he advise me to hold talks with the RBZ Governor yet  my plea is that we have told him of the problem and it is up to him to solve this problem instead of advising me to go to the RBZ Governor.  He, as the Minister of Finance should go and hold meetings with the RBZ Governor to solve this problem.

*HON. CHINAMASA:  Mr. Speaker Sir, I completely agree with the sentiments raised by Hon. Chinotimba.  Before I hold talks with the RBZ Governor, he would have heard this question because this is live broadcast but why I am advising him to approach the Governor is that the Governor will ask for proof because we cannot debate on something that has no proof.  Hence, we need to give him tangible evidence that he can operate on so that we are aware of the particular bank that is conducting this daylight robbery.  We will take remedial measures but if this is generalised, we will not be able to take punitive measures against the bank.


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