Govt to appeal High Court ruling on currency directive


The Government of Zimbabwe will appeal at the Constitutional Court challenging a High Court ruling quashing the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) decision to separate RTGS FCA accounts and Nostro accounts two years ago.

In 2018, the RBZ through exchange control directive number R120/2018, separated the accounts but the High Court this week said the move by the central bank was unconstitutional following an application by business partners Penelope Douglas Stone and Richard Stuart Beatie of The Stone/Beattie Studio challenging the directive to convert its US$142 000 bank balance held by CABS to RTGS balance.

The Ministry of Finance, RBZ and CABS were respondents to the matter.
In the judgment, Justice Happias Zhou granted the application on the grounds that the RBZ decision was not legally and morally justified, to change the currency of a bank account by simply ‘renaming it’.

The court ordered the respondents to pay The Stone/Beattie Studio US$142,000 which is the amount that they held in their account in 2016 or transfer it into a “nostro” account nominated by the applicants.

Following this ruling, Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube on Friday said government and the RBZ will appeal the judgment in the next few days.
“Government and the RBZ do not agree with the conclusion in the judgment to the effect that the exchange control directive is unconstitutional,” Ncube said.

He added:”(Our) view is that the court has failed to give a proper interpretation to the directive. In the circumstances, government and the RBZ intends to file an appeal against the judgment. (We) are further fortified in this cause of action by the fact that the court did not impugn the provisions of the Finance Act (Chapter 22:15) which were based on the exchange control directive in question.Accordingly, government and the RBZ wish to ensure the nation that the monetary arrangements which were put in place as a result of the exchange control in question will remain in place pending the outcome of the appeal to be noted in the next few days.”

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