The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says is the existence of a foreign currency black market is a reflection of shortages of forex in the system.
This was said by RBZ Deputy Governor Kupukile Mlambo, who was standing in for RBZ Governor John Mangudya, when he appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on Monday.
Mlambo said the RBZ does not have control of all the foreign currency in the system, therefore it has no way of knowing where it ends. He said:
The existence of a parallel market is a reflection of shortages in the system or the wrong incentives in the system.
Clearly we have to fix that and deal with that (black) market and the best way to deal with that is to make sure the interbank rate is sufficiently priced and there is always sufficient foreign currency.
The only way we can control those kinds of markets where there is a parallel market is when the central bank had control of all the foreign currency in the system.
As things stand, we don’t have control of all the foreign currency in the system.
A lot of it is outside our powers or purview and we have no way of knowing where it ends.
The RBZ chief denied claims that the central bank sells money to the public. He also absolved commercial banks and demanded evidence of misbehaviour by the banks.
The country has been experiencing an acute shortage of cash for the past three years. However, new notes are readily available on the streets while bank vaults are empty.