retailers and wholesalers have been charging
different prices for the same commodities based on
the mode of payment.
A manager with one of the country’s biggest
retail chains told Xinhua Wednesday that they had
reduced trading hours effective this week to ease
pressure on the stocks drawdown.
police arrest over 100 illegal forex
dealers amid fight to curb price increases
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua)
-- Zimbabwe has arrested
over 100 illegal foreign currency dealers since last
week in a nationwide crackdown on the black market,
authorities said Wednesday.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently declared a
war on the illicit trade, describing it as a threat
to national security, following a hike in prices of
basic commodities and shortage of some.
In a statement, the police said they embarked on
a countrywide operation to enforce regulations that
criminalize the illegal trading of foreign currency.
Police spokesperson Paul Nyathi said the illegal
money activities posed a serious security and
economic threat to the country.
"Cumulatively, as from Oct. 18, 2018, a total of
107 arrests have been made for illegal dealing in
foreign currency and 58 for blocking pavements
"The operation is ongoing until sanity returns in
all cities and towns," he said.
Illegal foreign currency dealers on Monday
deserted the streets in Harare’s central business
district after realizing that the government was
serious about apprehending them.
Under a September 2017 law against illegal
foreign currency dealing, the state can jail
offenders for up to 10 years and seize cash being
The courts may impose fines of three times the
value of the currency confiscated.
Other penalties include the freezing of funds, if
the illegal deals are conducted through banks.
Before the September 2017, the Banking Act only
allowed the central bank to impose penalties on
Business has been flourishing on the black market
from where companies are said to have been sourcing
foreign currencies because local banks have not been
able to provide them.
foreign currency dealers go underground
as Zimbabwe authorities warn of clampdown
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua)
-- Illegal foreign
currency dealers on Tuesday literally deserted the
streets in Harare’s Central Business District, as
the government continues warning that it will deal
severely with offenders.
The parallel market rate of the U.S. dollar to
the bond dollar also fell drastically from around
350 percent on Friday to 150 percent Monday, but
dealers said the situation continued to be volatile
while prices of basic commodities continued to soar.
A tour by Xinhua in the CBD showed that most of
the dealers who used to throng Sam Nujoma Street and
the First Street Mall were nowhere to be seen, while
just a few brave ones whispered to potential buyers
that they were open for business.
A honey vendor said while the illegal dealers
were not visible, they were still around but
remained wary of the authorities.
"Just like me, they disappear at the first sight
of trouble and remain underground until they feel
that it is safe to continue with their business."
Some dealers have also masked their activities by
remaining on the streets purporting to be buying old
Zimbabwe dollar notes but they quickly admit that
they also trade the foreign currency.
One dealer along Sam Nujoma Street said it had
become dangerous to operate openly and had devised
new ways to evade arrest by pretending to be only
interested in the old notes.
The government in Sept. 2017 passed a new law
against illegal foreign currency dealing that
enables the state to jail offenders for up to 10
years and authorizes the police to seize the cash
The regulations also impose several other
penalties including the freezing of funds, if the
illegal deals are conducted through banks, while the
courts may impose fines of three times the value of
the currency confiscated.
Prior to the Sept. 2017 regulations, the Banking
Act only allowed the central bank to impose
penalties on offenders.
The dealers quickly disappeared from the streets,
only to reappear when they realized that law
enforcement agencies were not descending heavily
Since then, business has been flourishing on the
black market from where companies are said to have
been sourcing foreign currency because local banks
have not been able to provide it.
It is also suspected that top politicians and
some business people are behind the illegal
Two weeks ago, Zimbabwean President Emmerson
Mnangagwa declared war on the black market saying
that it was a threat to national security.
"A great threat to our bid to stimulate
productive activity in the economy comes by way of
non-productive, speculative activities operating
below the radar but involving millions in precious
foreign currency and bond notes.
"These nefarious activities thrive on different
electronic platforms. New measures will be pursued
to stop such malpractices," he said then.
central bank suspends top managers
following social media allegations of corruption
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua)
-- Zimbabwe central bank
on Monday suspended four directors indefinitely
following corruption allegations leveled against
them on social media.
Political activist Acie Lumumba posted a live
Facebook feed on Sunday night alleging that the four
were part of a ring in the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
(BZ) that was involved in illegal foreign currency
peddling and gold exports.
Lumumba had only three days earlier been
appointed spokesperson for a communications
taskforce in the Ministry of Finance and Economic
In a statement published Tuesday, RBZ governor
John Mangudya said he had indefinitely suspended the
four senior managers to allow room for
"The RBZ wishes to advise members of the public
that following allegations of impropriety leveled
against senior officials of the bank namely, Messrs
Mirirai Chiremba, Norman Mataruka, Gresham
Muradzikwa and Azvinandaa Saburi, by Mr Lumumba, the
Bank has found it necessary, for the sake of
transparency and good corporate governance, that the
allegations be followed through and investigated in
line with the bank’s Employment Code of Conduct."
He said once the investigations had been
concluded, the public would be advised of the
outcome and appropriate corrective action would be
taken as dictated by the outcome of the
Zimbabwe is reeling under foreign currency
shortages which have led to a shortage of fuel,
basic commodities and drugs.
Meat prices skyrocket in Zimbabwe as producers
attempt to keep up with prevailing 'black