The Law Society of Zimbabwe has dragged president Emmerson Mnangagwa, Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and its governor John Manngudya over Statutory Instrument (SI) 33 of 2019.
The SI converted United States dollar bank balances to Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) resulting in individuals and companies losing their money as the RTGS rapidly depreciated afterwards.
The LSZ asserts that the move constituted a compulsory deprivation of property, but, there was no compensation to individuals and companies who had their US dollars converted into RTGS.
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In an affidavit accompanying their application on Friday, Edwin Mapara, the LSZ’s executive secretary, said:
The actions of the respondents in compulsorily ordering and effecting the conversion of United States dollar balances in the applicant’s account into RTGS in February 2019 amounted to compulsory deprivation and expropriation of such U.S. dollars without adequate compensation and therefore breached section 71 (2) and (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe (which prohibits compulsory deprivation of property).
Following the SI, a number of court cases were filed as the creditors demanded to be paid in USD which was on their agreements.
Only recently, former Finance Minister Tendai Biti urged the government to repeal both SI 33 and 142 of 2019 which effected the ban of the multicurrency system in the country.