This week the RBZ made a dramatic swoop on Sakunda Holdings, Access Finance, Croco Motors and Spartan Securities following allegations of money laundering.
Sakunda is linked to Mnangagwa’s ally Kudakwashe Tagwirei and Spartan is reportedly owned by Mnangagwa’s nephew Tarisai Mnangagwa.
Fresh information obtained from RBZ insiders has revealed that the decision to freeze the accounts was first taken on Wednesday when the local currency was still pegged at $15 to US$1 on the parallel market.
The central bank’s financial intelligence unit (FIU) had reportedly picked information that the identified companies were pouring in over $1 billion into the parallel market to mop up US dollars.
Some of the money was meant to buy inputs for the government’s controversial command agriculture programme and luxury cars for Cabinet ministers.
“A memo was drafted and sent to the Presidents’ Office for approval,” the source who attended the meeting said.
“It detailed security risks that the country faced if the exchange rate was not dealt with.
“It stated that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration could be in trouble as the exchange rate movement was now causing havoc in the economy.
According to the Standard, Mnangagwa is said to have approved the decision to freeze the accounts.
“He did not object, especially after being told that if the matter was not dealt with urgently, it could cause an uproar.
“He said ‘as long as it was in the national interest, it must be done.”