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Old Mutual Zimbabwe: Suspension in bank lending leaves a dent in investor confidence, says Matsekete

By Farai Shawn Matiashe

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Posted on June 22, 2022 12:34

People queue outside a bank in Harare
People queue outside a bank in Harare, Zimbabwe February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

On 7 May this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa introduced a raft of measures meant to stabilise Zimbabwe’s economic crisis. Among the measures included was a suspension – with immediate effect – of lending by banks to both the government and private sector.

Mnangagwa accused ‘economic saboteurs’, who include corporates and individuals, of sabotaging his efforts to stop the spiralling inflation. Just over a week later, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe lifted the ban on bank lending. As of June this year, Zimbabwe’s inflation rate was at a staggering 324%, according to Professor Steve Hanke of John Hopkins University.

The Africa Report spoke with Samuel Matsekete, group CEO of Old Mutual Zimbabwe and head of banking portfolio at Old Mutual Rest of Africa, about the president’s short-lived decision.

Old Mutual Zimbabwe provides a variety of financial and investment products to their Zimbabwe-based clients. The company’s 2021 financial report shows that the firm posted significant growth for 2021, with profit after tax (adjusted for inflation) of Z$28.8bn up from Z$10.5bn the year before.

The Africa Report: Recently, the Central Bank suspended

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