Zim whips foreign currency dealers



Government is now pursuing illegal foreign currency dealers who are using point of sale (POS) machines with the administration blaming them for fuelling the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar, a senior government official has revealed.

The Zimbabwe dollar has been fast losing value over the past few weeks. Some retailers are now pricing their goods exclusively in United States dollars to avoid losses.

This week, the Zimbabwe dollar was trading at between ZWL$3 500 and ZWL$4 000 per US$1 on the informal market from ZWL$1 800 per dollar a month ago.

On the formal market, the Zimbabwe dollar was trading at ZWL$1 888 per US$1 this week from ZWL$944.71 per US$1 at the beginning of April.

The plunge of the Zimbabwe dollar has resulted in rocketing prices of goods and services and run-away exchange rate.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana confirmed the crackdown on his twitter handle yesterday.

He said police have confiscated several POS machines used by the illegal money dealers.

“Police have launched an operation targeting foreign currency dealers, who are so daring to the extent of displaying POS machines. Police have so far retrieved 11 POS machines which are the property of NMB and Steward Banks,” Mangwana said.

All efforts to get a comment from police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner, Paul Nyati, were futile.

The crackdown comes a few days after the government also accused businesses of sabotaging the government by undermining the administration’s efforts to stabilise the economy.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the weekend accused business of betraying government’s efforts to stabilise the economy.

“We even wonder if at all we are dealing with business anymore or with politicians disguised as company executives seeking a political upset,” he wrote in his weekly column published in The Sunday Mail.

It also comes after Finance and economic Development Minister, Mthuli Ncube recently announced measures to stabilise the exchange rate and the economy.

Ncube directed that local companies could now retain 100% of domestic foreign currency earnings.

He also announced measures to strengthen the foreign exchange auction system and also lifted all restrictions on importation of basic commodities.

He also said short-term interest rates would be raised.

But, it appears the measures would not stop runaway foreign currency exchange rate and price increases of goods and services.



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