This week the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) announced that it would
tighten screws on illegal foreign exchange traders.
The FIU announced that it had been monitoring social media platforms
where foreign currency dealers have been advertising and promoting their
It has warned it will now go after the traders. Illegal foreign
currency trading has become a source of livelihood for thousands of youths
desperately looking for employment.
The announcement went viral on social media platforms such as
WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook and within minutes, the same parallel
market traders that are under investigations devised new ways of beating the system.
A classic case of catch me if you can.
The burgeoning black market is an indictment on the fixing of the
The Zimbabwe dollar continues to weaken against major currencies trading at around 1:75 against the greenback while it remains
officially pegged at 1:25.
The economic fundamentals remain weak and the arbitrage and rent-seeking that has become the order of the day is a reflection of this.
Zimbabwe’s economy is this year projected to contract by 10% and several
jobs will be redundant.
Demand for foreign currency is expected to surge as government continues to ease Covid-19 restrictions and open up the economy.
With no quick wins in sight, President Emmerson Mnangagwa should
go back on the drawing board, restore the goodwill that was invested in his
administration when he took over from long-time leader Robert Mugabe
in November 2017.
As it stands, it appears as if we are in a state of war as political tension continue to mount and the economy is haywire.
The southern African country is back in the spotlight.
Western capitals are now ratcheting pressure on Harare as the country’s human rights record comes under scrutiny. The United States has branded Zimbabwe as an ‘adversary’.
Mnangagwa needs more friends than foes at the moment to reboot the economy.
The huge debt overhang is disqualifying Harare from accessing concessionary funding to pursue its development agenda and authorities in
Harare should wake up and smell the coffee. Traditional allies like China can only do so much.
While the economy is floundering and the country is under lockdown,
many have questioned the government’s wisdom (or lack of it) in conducting public hearings for Constitutional Amendment Number 2 at a time when the country is under lockdown.
For such a fundamental process, current lockdown measures will disenfranchise the majority of the citizenry whose views should be considered.
The resources being channelled towards this exercise should in turn go
towards improving the lives of millions of people that have experienced one of the worst droughts in living memory and are living on less than US$1 a day