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Chapter 14:14

Moneylending And Rates Of Interest Act

Acts 9/1930, 25/1948 (s. 24), 59/1961, 6/1967 (s. 15), 57/1972 (s. 17), 5/1981, 30/1984, 22/2001 (s. 4), 16/1998 (s.4-8); R.G.N.

554/1962.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

  1. Short title.

2A.   Registrar of Moneylenders and other officers.

2B.   Register of moneylenders’ licences.

  1. Moneylender’s licences.
  2. Suspension of licence on conviction.
  3. Duties of moneylenders.
  4. Offences by moneylenders.
  5. Inspection of books.
  6. Maximum rates of interest.
  7. No recovery of excess interest.
  8. Guarantees for debts.
  9. Recovery by borrower of excess interest paid.
  10. Requirements in connection with instruments of debt.
  11. False representation to obtain loans.
  12. Lender’s obligations when interest over prescribed rate.
  13. Lender’s obligations at any later date.
  14. Plaintiff to be called as witness at defendant’s request.
  15. Extent of operation of Act.
  16. Effect on negotiable instruments.
  17. Act to apply to all transactions substantially moneylending.
  18. Exempted transactions.
  19. [Repealed].

AN ACT to regulate moneylending.

[Date of commencement: 1st October, 1930.]

1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Moneylending and Rates of Interest Act [Chapter 14:14].

                       2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“borrower” means any person receiving a loan of money and any person to whom, whether by delegation or otherwise, the obligation of any borrower in respect of any loan of money has passed;

“instrument of debt” includes a negotiable instrument, bond, written contract or agreement or other document containing the terms of any contract or agreement in respect of any loan of money, but does not include any bona fide covering bond in so far as it purports to convey security for future advances;

“interest” means any valuable consideration given or promised for a loan of money, whether such consideration is in cash, in goods, in kind or in any other form whatsoever, and includes any charges for discount, commission, expenses, inquiries, fines, foregift, bonus and renewal and any other charges whatsoever not being taxable conveyancing charges or revenue charges;

“lender” means any person making a loan of money, the cessionary of any right arising under any contract of loan of money and the holder of any instrument of debt, and includes a moneylender;

“Minister” means the Minister of Finance or any other Minister to whom the President may from time to time assign the administration of this Act;

“moneylender” means any person who carries on a business of moneylending or who advertises or announces himself or holds himself out in any way as carrying on such business, but does not include—

  • any person engaged in any transaction exempted by section twenty or by regulations made in terms of section twenty-two, in so far as any such transaction is concerned; or
  • any person exempted by section twenty or by regulations made in terms of section twenty-two, to the extent that he has been so exempted;

“moneylender’s licence” means a licence granted to a moneylender in terms of section three;

“Registrar” means the Registrar of Moneylenders referred to in subsection (1) of section two A or any person performing his or her functions in terms of subsection (3) of that section;

[Definition inserted by section 4 of Act 16 of 2004]

“Secretary” ….

[Definition inserted by section 4 of Act 16 of 2004]

“true name” means, in relation to any person, that person’s own proper name, without any addition, abstraction or other alteration whatever.

2A Registrar of Moneylenders and other officers

  • There shall be a Registrar of Moneylenders and such other officers as may be necessary for the proper administration of this Act, who shall be employees of the Reserve Bank appointed in terms of section 46 of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Act [Chapter 22:15].
  • The Registrar shall be responsible for licensing moneylenders and cancelling their licences, and performing such other functions as are conferred or imposed upon him or her by or in terms of this Act or any other enactment.
  • Subject to the directions of the Registrar, the other officers referred to in subsection (1) shall perform such of the Registrar’s functions as the Registrar may assign to them.

[Section inserted by section 5 of Act 16 of 2004]

2B Register of moneylenders’ licences

(1) The Registrar shall establish and maintain a register of moneylenders’ licences, in which the following shall be recorded

  • the name and address of the licensed moneylender; and
  • the date of licensing of the moneylender; and
  • any terms or conditions imposed on the licensed moneylender; and
  • the particulars of the cancellation of any moneylender’s licence, and of the restoration of any such licence; and
  • any alterations to the particulars referred to in paragraph (a) or (c).

(2) Any person may, for the prescribed fee, if any, inspect the register of moneylenders’ licences at all reasonable times at the premises of the Reserve Bank or at such other place as the Registrar may direct.

[Section inserted by section 5 of Act 16 of 2004]

                       3    Moneylenders’ licences

  • No moneylender shall carry on business as such, whether alone or in partnership or association with any other person, unless he is the holder of a valid moneylender’s licence taken out in his true name in respect of every address at which he carries on business as a moneylender.
  • Every moneylender’s licence shall— (a) be in the prescribed form; and

(b) unless renewed earlier, expire on the 31st December of the year in respect of which it was granted or previously renewed, as the case may be.

(3) An application for the grant or renewal of a moneylender’s licence shall be made to the Registrar and shall be accompanied by—

  • such fee as may be prescribed; and
  • such information, certificates or documents as may be prescribed or as may be required by the Registrar.

(4) On receipt of an application in terms of subsection (3), the Registrar shall—

  • if he is satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to carry on business as a moneylender, grant the applicant a moneylender’s licence or, as the case may be, renew the moneylender’s licence in respect of which the application was made; or
  • if he is not so satisfied, refuse to grant the application.
  • Any person who is aggrieved by a refusal of the Registrar to grant or renew a moneylender’s licence in terms of subsection (4) may appeal against such refusal to the Minister.
  • In an appeal in terms of subsection (5) the Minister may— (a) uphold the decision of the Registrar; or

(b) if he considers that the appellant is a fit and proper person to carry on business as a moneylender, direct the Registrar to grant the appellant a moneylender’s licence or, as the case may be, to renew his moneylender’s licence; and the decision of the Minister in the matter shall be final.

(7) Any person who—

  • contravenes subsection (1); or
  • secures for himself the grant or renewal of a moneylender’s licence in any name other than his true name; or
  • being the holder of a moneylender’s licence, carries on business as a moneylender in any name other than his true name or at any address other than one stated in such licence; shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

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