The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) said that it has received commitments from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) that it is going to clear all outstanding foreign currency auction allotments backlog by end of June.
The RBZ has in the past given deadlines to clear all outstanding allotments but has failed to fulfil its promises.
BAZ chief executive, Fanwell Mutogo, told the Business Weekly that the RBZ was allocating more funds than what it was getting resulting in a huge backlog. Mutogo said:
I must say that there has been an adjustment in terms of making sure that they allocate only that which they have.
Our backlog figures are reducing. Yes, according to the previous promise, they were supposed to have been retired by the end of May, but I think because of some administrative issues, the deadline has been extended to the end of June and we have commitments from the RBZ
There are no backlogs post-May 31, 2022, as the Bank has managed to disburse all the allotted bids within two weeks.
The Bank seems to be auctioning what they have now post-May 2022.
But Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president, Kurai Matsheza, said the existing backlog is widening. He said:
We are going into auction number 100 this week, but we have members who have not yet been allotted their auction number 75 and some as far back as auction number 72.
The Bank is working on the backlog definitely, but it is not supposed to be the case, industry needs to be given its money when bids are successful.
We do not want the current situation as it affects plans by industry.
Matsheza said the central bank has made promises to clear the backlog in the past but has failed to do so. He said:
The problem is that the apex bank just promises us and does not deliver, besides that we have a commitment that we were given, but we do not have a deadline of when they will be cleared.
Our members are still battling forex backlog and the situation is worsening as the central bank takes between 10 weeks and 12 weeks to clear.
Last month, RBZ Governor, John Mangudya revealed that the backlog stood at approximately US$135 million.