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Multichoice Zimbabwe clashes with Multichoice South Africa

by Staff reporter
19 Jul 2012 at 09:50hrs | Views
Multichoice Zimbabwe has clashed with Multichoice South Africa over $2 million in subscriptions fees tied up in closed banking concern, Interfin Bank Limited (IBL), sources have revealed.

According to insiders the South African unit has demanded that the local office meets the loss by remitting all subscriptions that it collects without taking its commission until amounts due to it are fully paid up.

IBL had an agreement with the satellite television service provider where it collected cash subscriptions on its behalf but failed to remit the funds when it was asked to.

Multichoice managing director Lovemore Mangwende refused to comment referring businessdaily to the company's public relations and publicity manager Liz Dziva.

"Please be advised that there is not comment at this time as the curator is still carrying out his mandate and it would be premature to make any public statement," Dziva said.

Government is also owed in excess of $47 million in deposits by IBL according to the Finance ministry.

The ministry said IBL, which was last month placed under "recuperative curatorship" for six months by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) after it was found to be financially unsound, held $17,4 million out of government's $20 million share of the $70 million Zimbabwe Economic Trade Revival Facility (Zetref).

The other $50 million in Zetref was contributed by the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank).

"The first and only release IBC release of $2,6 million out of government's contribution of $20 million was made on 24 October 2011. The request for release had been made by Afreximbank in September 2011," the ministry said in a July 2 statement.

The ministry said subsequent release requests to IBL, out of government contribution, were raised to $5 million in fortnightly batches with the first due on November 11.

The releases, the Finance ministry said, were not forthcoming.

"Notwithstanding follow-ups through meetings and letters over the expeditious processing of Zetref loan applications of companies a development which prompted the ministry of Finance to request the Reserve Bank, in April 2012, to investigate IBL and ascertain the financial situation at the bank."

According to the government department, other revival funds stuck at IBC include $9,7 million from Afreximbank being the balance unpaid from $15 million extended to IBC for on-lending to clients under a facility separate from Zetref.

The ministry said challenges at IBL had compromised companies' access to over $21 million availed by the PTA Bank targeted at supporting the revival of the country's productive sectors.

Biti's ministry said government will be working with RBZ to ensure recovery of Zetref funds as well as other funds currently held up at IBC.

Government's efforts to recover its funds come amid reports IBC could be liquidated after insiders said no investor was likely to come to its rescue.

Source - Daily News
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