Post Office Savings Bank Act

Link to law: http://www.parlzim.gov.zw/acts-list/post-office-savings-bank-act-24-10
Published: 1982

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ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

3. Post Office Savings Bank.

4. Establishment, procedure and functions of Board.

5. Management of Savings Bank and staff thereof.

6. Joint meetings.

7. Savings Bank Reserve Fund.

8. Investment of funds.

9. Deposits by persons, associations and trustees.

10. Married women.

11. Repayment of deposits.

12. Depositor mentally disordered or defective or incapable of managing affairs.

13. Death of depositor.

14. Joint trust deposits.

15. Receipts for withdrawals.

16. Remittances to and from Savings Bank.

17. Security for deposits.

18. Accounts to be laid before Parliament.

19. Determination of disputes.

20. Non-disclosure of information.

21. Non-liability of State, Corporation and Savings Bank.

22. Regulatory powers.

23. Offences and penalties.

AN ACT to provide for the administration of the Post Office Savings Bank and for matters incidental thereto.

[Date of commencement: 1st May, 1965.]

1 Short title

This Act may be cited as the Post Office Savings Bank Act [Chapter 24:10].

2 Interpretation

(1) In this Act-

"appropriate Minister" means the Minister to whom the administration of the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation Act [Chapter 12:02] has been assigned;

"association" includes a society, club or fund;

"Board" means the Savings Bank Board established in terms of section four; "Corporation" means the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation established by the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation Act [Chapter 12:02];

"curator", in relation to a depositor who is mentally disordered or defective or otherwise incapable of managing his own affairs, means the person appointed or recognized as curator in terms of the Mental Health Act [ Chapter 15:06] for the care or administration of the property of that depositor or, if no such person has been so appointed or recognized, any person who, in the opinion of the Postmaster-General, is responsible for the care or administration of the property of that depositor; "depositor" means a person or association who has moneys standing to his credit in the Savings Bank;

"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;

"officer" means a person employed by the Corporation, whether such person is on secondment or has been transferred from the employment of the State or otherwise; "Postmaster-General" means the person appointed as Postmaster-General in terms of section 22 of the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation Act [Chapter 12:02]; "Posts and Telecommunications Board" means the Posts and Telecommunications

Board appointed in terms of Part II of the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation Act [Chapter 12:02];

"prescribed age" means the age prescribed for the purposes of subsection (2) of section eleven;

"Reserve Fund" means the Savings Bank Reserve Fund established by section seven; "Savings Bank" means the Post Office Savings Bank referred to in section three; "Savings Bank year" means the period of twelve months ending on the 30th June in each year.

(2) A person who-

(a) is certified under any law in force either inside or outside Zimbabwe as being mentally disordered or defective; or

(b) is shown, to the satisfaction of the Postmaster-General, to be incapable of managing his own affairs;

shall be deemed to be mentally disordered or defective or otherwise incapable of managing his own affairs for the purposes of this Act.

3 Post Office Savings Bank

Notwithstanding the repeal of the Post Office Savings Bank Act, 1954 (No. 29 of 1954), the Post Office Savings Bank of Southern Rhodesia existing immediately before the 1st May, 1965, shall continue as the Post Office Savings Bank in accordance with this Act.

4 Establishment, procedure and functions of Board

(1) There is hereby established a board to be known as the Savings Bank Board.

(2) The Board shall consist of three members appointed by the Minister.

(3) A member of the Board shall hold office at the Minister's pleasure.

(4) The Minister shall designate one member of the Board as chairman of the Board.

(5) The Board shall hold its first meeting on such date and at such place as the Minister may specify and thereafter the Board shall meet together for the dispatch of business and adjourn, close and otherwise regulate its meetings and proceedings as it thinks fit.

(6) The functions of the Board shall be-

(a) to give directions to the Postmaster-General in terms of section eight; and

(b) to make recommendations to the Minister as to the provisions of regulations to be made under section twenty-two, and generally for the efficient administration of the Savings Bank.

5 Management of Savings Bank and staff thereof

(1) Subject to this Act and the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation Act [Chapter 12:02], the Corporation shall be the agent of the Minister for the administration of the Savings Bank.

(2) The Corporation shall comply with any direction given by the Minister in terms of this Act relating to the administration of the Savings Bank.

(3) The Corporation shall make available to the Savings Bank the services of the Postmaster-General and such officers as are necessary for efficiently conducting the business of the Savings Bank.

(4) The Postmaster-General and officers made available in terms of subsection (3) shall comply with any directions given by the Board in terms of this Act.

(5) The business of the Savings Bank shall be conducted at such post offices and other places and on such days and during such hours as the Board, after consultation with the Posts and Telecommunications Board, shall determine.

(6) The Corporation shall keep or cause to be kept proper accounts and other records in relation to all the operations of the Savings Bank.

(7) The Comptroller and Auditor-General shall examine, inquire into and audit the accounts of the Savings Bank and for the purposes of the Audit and Exchequer Act

[Chapter 22:03]-

(a) the Savings Bank shall be regarded as a statutory fund; and

(b) the Postmaster-General and the officers made available in terms of subsection (3) shall be regarded as employees of the Savings Bank.

(8) All expenses incurred in the administration of the Savings Bank shall be paid from moneys held in the Savings Bank.

6 Joint meetings

(1) Joint meetings of the Board and the Posts and Telecommunications Board shall be held at the request of either of those Boards for the discussion of matters common to both.

(2) Any matter arising out of a joint meeting held in terms of subsection (1) may be referred to the Minister who may, with the approval of the appropriate Minister, give directions to the Corporation relating to the administration of the Savings Bank.

7 Savings Bank Reserve Fund

There is hereby established the Savings Bank Reserve Fund to which shall be- (a) credited the profits of the Savings Bank in any Savings Bank year; (b) debited the losses of the Savings Bank in any Savings Bank year.

8 Investment of funds

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Postmaster-General shall invest moneys held in the Savings Bank in accordance with the directions of the Board in all or any of the following ways and not otherwise-

(a) in any security issued by the State;

(b) on deposit with the State;

(c) with any person registered as an accepting house, commercial bank or discount house in terms of the Banking Act [Chapter 24:01]; (d) in any other security approved by the Board.

(2) The Postmaster-General shall, in accordance with the directions of the Board and subject to subsection (1), realize or otherwise deal with investments of Savings Bank moneys.

9 Deposits by persons, associations and trustees

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Savings Bank may accept deposits up to an amount prescribed from or on behalf of-

(a) any person or association in the name of that person or association; or (b) any trustee on behalf of another person in the joint names of that trustee and the person on whose behalf the deposit is made.

(2) The Savings Bank shall not accept deposits from or on behalf of a person or association who is a member of a prescribed class.

10 Married women

A married woman, whether under marital power or not, may be a depositor and may without assistance execute all necessary documents, give all necessary acquittances and enjoy all the privileges and be liable to all the obligations attaching to depositors.

11 Repayment of deposits

(1) Subject to this Act and save as otherwise provided in subsections (2) and (3), deposits made by or on behalf of a depositor, other than an existing depositor, together with any interest thereon shall only be repaid-

(a) in the case of a depositor who is an individual and-

(i) has not attained the prescribed age, to the legal guardian of that depositor;

(ii) has attained the prescribed age, to that depositor whether or not he has attained the age of eighteen years;

(b) in the case of any other depositor, to that depositor.

(2) Subject to this Act, deposits made by or on behalf of an association together with any interest thereon shall only be repaid to the secretary, treasurer, trustee or other responsible officer thereof who is notified on behalf of that association as being the person to whom such deposits shall be repaid.

(3) Subject to this Act, deposits made by or on behalf of a trustee on behalf of another person in the joint names of that trustee and that other person together with any interest thereon shall only be repaid to that other person with the consent of that trustee.

12 Depositor mentally disordered or defective or incapable of managing affairs (1) Subject to subsection (2), if a depositor is or becomes mentally disordered or defective or otherwise incapable of managing his own affairs, deposits made by or on behalf of that person together with any interest thereon may be repaid to such person as appears to the Postmaster-General to be the proper person to receive such deposits: Provided that, if the amount standing to the credit of that depositor exceeds three hundred dollars, the amount in excess shall be repaid only to the curator of that depositor.

(2) Before making any repayment in terms of subsection (1) the Postmaster-General shall require proof, to his satisfaction, that-

(a) the depositor is mentally disordered or defective or otherwise incapable of managing his own affairs; and

(b) the person concerned is the proper person to receive such deposits.

13 Death of depositor

(1) Subject to subsection (2), on the death of a depositor deposits made by or on behalf of that person together with any interest thereon may be repaid to such person as appears to the Postmaster-General, after consultation with the Master of the High Court, to be the proper person to receive such deposits:

Provided that, if the amount standing to the credit of that deceased depositor exceeds three hundred dollars, the amount in excess shall be repaid only to the executor or duly appointed representative of the estate of the deceased depositor or, if, within six months of the date of the death of that depositor, letters of administration or a countersigned grant of probate are not produced to the Postmaster-General, to such person or persons and in such proportions as the Master of the High Court may specify.

(2) Before making any repayment in terms of subsection (1) the Postmaster-General shall require proof, to his satisfaction, that- (a) the depositor has died; and

(b) the person concerned is the proper person to receive such deposits or is the executor or duly appointed representative of the estate of that deceased person, as the case may be.

(3) If, on the death of a depositor, no repayment is made in terms of subsection (1), the deposits made by or on behalf of that depositor together with any interest thereon shall, subject to section nineteen, be paid into the Guardian's Fund to be dealt with by the Master of the High Court as if such money had been paid in by an executor.

(4) As soon as the Postmaster-General has made any payment in terms of this section he shall forward to the Master of the High Court a statement showing the amount standing to the credit of the account of the deceased depositor and the manner of distribution thereof. 14 Joint trust deposits

(1) Subject to subsection (2), where deposits have been made in the joint names of a trustee and another person and the trustee dies, such deposits together with any interest thereon may be repaid to that other person with the consent of any person lawfully appointed by the trustee or a court or in terms of the trust as his successor or, failing such appointment, as the Postmaster-General may determine.

(2) Before making any repayment in terms of subsection (1) the Postmaster-General shall require proof, to his satisfaction, that- (a) the trustee has died; and

(b) the person concerned has been lawfully appointed by the trustee or a court or in terms of the trust as his successor.

15 Receipts for withdrawals

(1) Before any repayment of moneys is made in terms of this Act the person to whom the repayment is to be made and, if necessary, the person with whose consent the repayment is to be made shall sign a receipt therefor.

(2) A receipt signed by a person or persons to whom repayment of any moneys may be made in terms of this Act and, if necessary, a person who may consent thereto shall be a complete discharge to the Savings Bank for the moneys which are so repaid.

16 Remittances to and from Savings Bank

(1) The Postmaster-General may, with the consent of the Minister, make arrangements with the postal authority of any other country for the transfer-

(a) to the Savings Bank of moneys standing to the credit of a person in the post office savings bank of that authority, and any moneys which are so transferred shall be placed to the credit of the depositor, even if the amount so transferred would cause the account of the depositor to exceed the maximum amount which may be accepted from a depositor;

(b) from the Savings Bank to the post office savings bank of that authority, and any moneys standing to the credit of the account of the depositor which are so transferred shall be paid to the postal authority concerned.

(2) A transfer in terms of subsection (1) shall be made on such conditions as may be fixed by the Postmaster-General, with the consent of the Minister, and on the payment of the prescribed fee.

17 Security for deposits

(1) Deposits made in the Savings Bank shall have the security of the public revenues of Zimbabwe.

(2) If at any time the funds of the Savings Bank immediately available are, in the opinion of the Board, insufficient to meet the anticipated claims of depositors, the Minister shall, on such terms as he may determine, advance the amount of the anticipated deficiency from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is hereby appropriated to that purpose.

18 Accounts to be laid before Parliament

(1) The Postmaster-General shall submit to the Minister, not later than six months after the termination of each Savings Bank year, a statement of-

(a) all deposits received and withdrawals made during that year; and

(b) the total amount due to all depositors at the close of that year; and (c) the expenses incurred by the Savings Bank in that year; and

(d) the amounts in the Reserve Fund at the close of that year; and (e) the securities in which Savings Bank funds are invested at the close of that year.

(2) The Minister shall lay a copy of such statement before Parliament within fourteen days of its receipt by him or, if Parliament is not then in session, within fourteen days after the commencement of its next sitting.

19 Determination of disputes

(1) If any dispute arises between the Postmaster-General and any person concerning the repayment of any deposit in terms of this Act or the refusal of the PostmasterGeneral to make such a repayment, that person may apply to a judge of the High Court for a decision on the matter.

(2) The judge to whom a matter referred to in subsection (1) has been referred may inquire into and determine the matter and may refer the matter to the court for argument and the determination of the dispute by the judge or court, as the case may be, shall be final, conclusive and binding on the parties.

20 Non-disclosure of information

(1) Save as is otherwise provided in this Act, no person holding any office in the Public Service or officer shall disclose the name or any information regarding the transactions of a depositor except-

(a) to the Postmaster-General or such officer as he may appoint to assist in carrying out the provisions of this Act; or (b) to the Commissioner of Taxes; or

(c) in terms of subsection (4) of section thirteen; or

(d) when required by a judge or by order of a competent court of law; or (e) when required by the Attorney-General for the purpose of an investigation or prosecution of an alleged offence:

Provided that nothing in this section shall be deemed to limit the authority of the Comptroller and Auditor-General to require a disclosure of such accounts and documents as may be necessary to enable him to carry out the duties imposed upon him by law.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment. 21 Non-liability of State, Corporation and Savings Bank

When any payment is made or any act done by the Corporation or by the PostmasterGeneral or any officer acting under his authority in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the State, the Corporation, the Savings Bank, the Postmaster-General and such officer shall not be liable in respect of any claim on the part of any person in connection with such payment or act, but any person may nevertheless recover any sum lawfully due to him from the person to whom the Postmaster-General has paid the same: Provided that-

(i) nothing in this section shall be construed as exempting any officer from liability for damage or loss caused to any person by reason of fraud or theft by such officer in relation to his official duties;

(ii) when any loss is caused to a depositor without any fault or neglect on his part, the Minister may authorize the payment to or in respect of such depositor of the amount of the loss. 22 Regulatory powers

(1) The Minister may by regulation prescribe all matters which by this Act are required or are permitted to be prescribed or which, in his opinion, are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.

(2) The Minister may, in regulations made in terms of subsection (1), provide for-

(a) the rate of interest payable to depositors, the minimum sum on which interest shall be payable and the methods by which and the periods in respect of which interest shall be calculated;

(b) the opening of accounts, the maximum and minimum amount which may be deposited at any one time and the maximum amounts which may be received in any one year from or in respect of a depositor or held at any one time in the account of a depositor;

(c) regulating the repayment of deposits and interest to depositors or persons legally entitled to claim on their account;

(d) the transfer of moneys from the account of one depositor to the account of another depositor;

(e) the number of accounts any person may open.

23 Offences and penalties

(1) Any person who, with intent to defraud-

(a) erases, cuts, scrapes, defaces, obliterates, alters or inserts any mark in a pass book which relates to an account in the Savings Bank or in any warrant, order or document whatsoever used or issued for the purposes of this Act; or

(b) makes a false statement in any declaration required to be made under or for the purposes of this Act; shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) Any person who, with intent to defraud, presents at any post office or other place where business of the Savings Bank is conducted, any pass book which relates to an account in the Savings Bank or any warrant, order or document whatsoever for the remittance through, collection from or deposit with the Savings Bank of moneys shall be guilty of an offence.

(3) Any officer employed in connection with the business of the Savings Bank who, with intent to defraud, puts any incorrect official mark on any pass book, warrant, order or document referred to in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) or in subsection (2) shall be guilty of an offence.

(4) Any person found guilty of an offence in terms of subsection (1), (2) or (3) shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

(5) In any proceedings in respect of an offence in terms of subsection (1) or (3) the burden shall lie on the accused of proving an absence of intent to defraud.