Speaking at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) congress on realities, constraints and possibilities of indigenisation, Kasukuwere said if foreign banks did not want to operate under the laws of Zimbabwe or did not agree with the regulations, they were free to leave the country.
“We have been focusing on mining. We will move to the banking sector, we need to ensure banks respect and respond to the aspirations of the people,” Kasukuwere said.
The annual congress was held under the theme From Stabilisation to Growth: Imperatives for Zimbabwe Industry.
“You cannot have a bank that behaves like an estranged woman. If they (banks) do not want to operate in this country they are free to go,” he said.
“They cannot take people’s money but refuse to lend to them.”
But John Mangudya the CBZ Bank MD and past president of the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe said there was need for Kasukuwere to clarify the indigenisation legislation further.
“There is need for clarity on the implementation of the indigenisation legislation issue,” he said.
“The law has caused uncertainty and to some extent de-industrialisation of the country.
“Recipients of loans should show banks that they are good recipients of the money by channeling it towards what they would have asked for and honouring their contracts.”
He said the banking sector was stable, adding that the business community in Zimbabwe was impatient while customers were restless.
Bank deposits grew to US$2,8 billion this year from US$400 at the start of dollarisation in 2009.
Mangudya said Zimbabweans still had a Zimdollar hang-over, a reality that was resulting in the “arbitrage syndrome” propensity to borrow, “easy-come, easy-go syndrome” and high propensity to spend.
“We are now using hard currency which is hard to come by so people should be realistic,” he said.
He said banks need to adopt finance instruments that unlock debt owed by government.
“This will pave way for the interbank market to be active. We need to develop appropriate financial instruments. Let us just be realistic not fly over night. Let us promote usage of alternative payment methods as opposed to cash only such as mobile banking, local debit and international credit cards.
“Let us also find ways of banking the unbanked and also promote SMEs, Mangudya said.
Kasukuwere said more than 700 companies have submitted their IDG proposal forms (indigenization proposals) across the board adding that of those submissions, more than 175 foreign owned mining companies have submitted their proposals.