The Zimbabwe Republic Police has complained that it is finding it hard to remove the cash dealers from the streets because of the difficulty of arresting them. The police said that in order to effect an arrest, an officer of the law must actually witness an illegal deal, something that is proving to be very difficult. This is worsened by the fact that it is not an offence to hold cash. The government has blamed illegal cash trading for the increase in prices.
ZRP national chief spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said:
We, as the ZRP, have deployed officers in the streets to curtail the mushika-shika, street vendors and illegal forex traders as our main priority. However, it has been difficult to arrest cash vendors as it requires an officer of the law to witness the culprits exchanging money.
This operation is a joint venture with the Harare City Council to bring sanity in the central business district (CBD), which has witnessed several arrests of cash vendors.
Some of them are mobile and in most cases, they get into vehicles and conduct their illegal deals. There is need to find a lasting solution such as deterrent sentences.
Last year the government introduced Statutory Instrument 122A of 2017 which empowers the police to arrest money peddlers and seize whatever currency involved. Offenders face a 10-year jail term, while their cash is forfeited to the State and their bank accounts are frozen.