Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS coach, Erol Akbay, has threatened to pack his bags and head back home in frustration over the country’s restrictive foreign exchange control regulations as his bank has allegedly not transferred a single cent back of his salary to his homeland over the last seven months.
Akbay claims intolerance, his employers, Highlanders claim innocence while captains of finance cite the law.
“The bank has not sent any money to my home in Netherlands and it’s now seven months and if this continues I will rather go back home,” said Akbay in an unsolicited interview with Chronicle Sport.
“I don’t even know the exact reason but they always tell me it’s the Government laws but I don’t believe that.”
Highlanders’ secretary general Emmett Ndlovu, while acknowledging the coach’s dilemma, said the issue was beyond their control as they have been paying him on time.
“I am not aware of his threat to go back home but what I know is that as Highlanders, we have been paying his salary timeously, that I can confirm. Akbay has got an account with his bank, BancABC and what his bank does or does not do is surely not in our hands and I believe it could be something to do with the country’s financial laws in as far as exporting foreign currency is concerned,” said Ndlovu.
An expert in finance, Godwin Takundwa said Akbay’s situation was not unique to him only but was very much in line with national laws.
“The country, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, has a list of priority issues when it comes to exporting the scarce foreign currency, of the things that can be allowed to have foreign currency leave this country. There are a lot of things that are looked at before the RBZ okays that money leaves Zimbabwe and salary might not be one of those top priorities,” said Takundwa.
He said big companies have foreign currency quotas given to them and even with that, it’s not automatic that requests are consented to.
“We have big companies that have had their requests for telegraphic transfers taking even up to four months, all this is because of the priorities I talked about earlier,” he said.
BancABC spokesperson, Muriel Dowa, had by late yesterday not responded to questions emailed to her on Thursday afternoon.