Mugabe to back Kasukuwere over foreign banks grab

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe is likely to side with Indeginisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s decision to grab shareholding in foreign-owned banks, presidential spokesperson George Charamba has said.

Charamba’s comments come after Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono launched a scathing attack on Kasukuwere saying the bank takeovers were illegal. 

But Charamba said yesterday that Gono and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai should explain why they had become spokespersons of foreign shareholders regarding the ceding of a mandatory 51 percent under the country’s indigenisation law.

Tsvangirai and Gono lambasted Kasukuwere’s drive to expropriate shareholding in banks such as Barclays and Standard Chartered.

Charamba said:  “The media has not asked these two (Gono and Tsvangirai) why they are speaking on behalf of foreigners. I can almost predict the President’s response to this. He will dismiss this false conflict with the contempt it deserves,” Charamba said.

Kasukuwere says Gono and Tsvangirai are offside because he is targeting shareholders, declaring: “The banking sector must not be treated as a sacred cow.”

Charamba said Mugabe shared Kasukuwere’s stance.

“The indeginisation issue is a matter between the government and foreign shareholders,” Charamba said.

“The technocrat (Gono) should speak to Finance minister Tendai Biti, who will then discuss this issue with the President. If dialogue does not fix this, then it goes to Cabinet,” he said.

Charamba said Tsvangirai should be better informed.

“If the PM has a problem with a particular policy he should use the right channels not the media or speak through a spokesperson,” Charamba said.

Gono this week hit Kasukuwere hard saying the minister was least qualified to talk about banks since he was part of the shareholders who presided over the collapse of Genesis Bank – Daily News