Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube

Zimbabwe asks US to inform banks of sanctions relief

ZIMBABWE has reached out to the United States (US), urging them to remind banks that Washington recently eased some sanctions on the southern African nation.

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube conveyed this request to reporters during an online briefing from Washington at the weekend.

He stated: “We asked the US Treasury to issue an advisory note to US banks, indicating the lifted sanctions and signalling that Zimbabwe is open for business.”

Zimbabwean officials actively pursued this matter during their meeting with the US Treasury. The delegation’s presence in Washington was centred around attending the Spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

In March, the US revised its sanctions programme, signalling that American entities could reconsider their approach to Zimbabwe, despite applying sanctions to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and other top officials. Over the last two decades, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe estimated that the country lost at least 100 correspondent banking relationships due to perceived high risk associated with sanctions.

Lawrence Nyazema, President of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, explained that local lenders rely on multiple correspondent banks in various currencies. He stated via text message on Saturday. “The primary focus is on the US dollar, where establishing direct clearing arrangements with US banks proves challenging. Most banks opt to clear US dollars through stronger banks in South Africa and other regions,” Nyazema said.

George Guvamatanga, Secretary for Finance and Economic Development, assured during the briefing that Zimbabwe’s banks have robust mechanisms in place to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. He cited the country’s removal from the grey list two years ago as evidence of effective controls. — Bloomberg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *