A Windhoek court ruled Tuesday that a bank jointly owned by the government of Namibia and Zimbabweans should start winding up ahead of shutting down.

The SME Bank that started operating in 2012 is 65 percent owned by the Namibian government and 30 percent by the Zimbabwean Metbank with businessmen Enock Kamushinda holding 5 percent shares.

The provisional order to wind up comes months after the SME Bank lost more than 200 million Namibian dollars (14.7 million U.S. dollars) invested in South Africa

Since February this year, the SME Bank has been under the Bank of Namibia’s management when Zimbabwean executives and directors were disempowered.

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High Court judge Hannelie Prinsloo made the provisional ruling after the Bank of Namibia had sought an order to shut down the SME Bank, saying the government could not bail it out any more.

In June, both the Bank of Namibia governor Ipumbu Shiimi and the trade minister appealed to the government for a 350-million-Namibian-dollar bailout to keep the bank afloat.

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein, however, said the government did not have money and if the bank can not recover the 200 million Namibian dollars from South Africa then it should be shut down. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh