BAZ/RBZ to establish commercial court
THE Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) says it is working with the central bank and various stakeholders towards the establishment of a commercial court in the near future, BAZ executive director Sij Biyam has said.
Biyam said the court will ensure the speedy processing of commercial cases without the delay that has become synonymous with the justice system.
“We are working with various stakeholders for the establishment of the commercial court which will have a specific focus on commercial and banking related cases. The court will ensure that there are no delays in the judicial system.
“We are currently consulting various stakeholders that also have an interest in the matter. We have since approached the Judicial Services Commission concerning establishment of the court,” he said.
Presenting the 2014 monetary policy statement, deputy governor Charity Dhliwayo said commercial and banking related cases are taking long to be settled through the court system.
“In order to expedite the settling of these disputes there is need to establish a commercial court dedicated to adjudicating commercial and banking related cases. The Reserve Bank will with immediate effect engage the relevant authorities and stakeholders to address this issue,” she said.
The development comes at a time when a number of banks have collapsed, leading to the slow resolution of matters through the courts while depositors’ money are siphoned by bank directors. The commercial court is expected to support economic recovery efforts through the fast resolution of commercial disputes thereby improving investor confidence in the country.
Proposed amendments to the Banking Act recognise the establishment of office of Financial Public Protector. The function of the FPP shall be to resolve disputes between banking institutions and other financial institutions on the one hand, and their customers on the other.
The office shall consist of a board, a panel of financial protectors and the Chief Financial Public Protector.
“The office of the Financial Public Protector shall attempt to resolve disputes by negotiation, mediation, conciliation or determination, as may be appropriate in each particular case, but in all cases the procedures adopted by the office shall be informal, fair and cost-effective.”
Funding for the office shall be funded from levies on financial institutions and the services provided by the office shall be free to the customers whose disputes with financial institutions are dealt with by the office. -FinX