Harare-The American Department of the Treasury has announced that two Zimbabwean banks, the Agribank and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ), have now been fully removed from the US sanctions list, and they can now cooperate with the financial institutions of the United State (US).
This development was revealed on Thursday by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube during a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare where he commended the removal of the sanctions saying that it will allow the two local banks to have credit lines in the international economic community, The Herald has reported.
“…any removal of any institution, especially a financial one, is very positive indeed. This will help the bank access credit lines and remove any restrictions that pertain to Know-Your-Customer challenges, which is really what happens when a bank is in the spotlight.
“Now that they (sanctions) have been lifted, the banks will find it easier to do business going forward. So this is a very welcome development indeed,” he said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Dr. Sibusiso Moyo said the lifting up of the sanctions by the US from the two local banks is a result of Zimbabwe’s efforts to re-engage with the US.
“…a progressive and welcome development that is as a result of us finding each other’s chemistry between Zimbabwe and the US, “ he said.
Mr. Langton Mabhanga, the board member of the Pan African Chamber of Commerce, said: “The bank can now access lines of credit with international monetary institutions especially the agriculture-specific facilities. This will also enable the bank to directly move money to and from the markets, hence cutting the premium charged on its transactions.
“Agribank can now access any market. All these put together, the farmer is the winner. We urge the US to walk much faster in this very direction of undoing the sanctions,” he added.
The OFAC has the power to authorise a person or an entity, by means of issuing a specific license, to engage in a transaction that otherwise would be prohibited.