OPINION: Foreign Currency Pricing Ban Vital

An opinion piece in the Sunday Mail has opined that the forex ban that was imposed by a new SI 2019-213 is vital.  The editor opined that in a normal country no one would think in terms of the USD and Zimbabwe is not a normal country hence the need to put such measures. The editor was referring to as SI 2019-213 that gives the RBZ powers to penalise anyone who charges of pays for a local transaction using forex.:

This tendency of using the US dollar to measure value and of encouraging people to enter the black market to buy US dollars is seen daily with many businesses still quoting in US dollars, although those wishing to remain legal converting to Zimbabwe dollars at one of the two rates on the actual day of payment. And these businesses are willing to accept actual US dollar cash payments and subtly encourage customers to make their payments in that currency.

It is also obvious from even a short stroll in a supermarket that some suppliers are thinking in US dollars and converting at the black market exchange rate of just before the bubble burst, while others, more honest, are adjusting to the interbank rate, although that was affected by the black-market bubble.

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So besides the need for emergency action, the blocking of bank accounts by the RBZ, more encouragement was needed to get everyone thinking, buying and selling in Zimbabwean currency.

None of these moves by President E. D. Mnangagwa and his economic advisors would have been needed if Zimbabwe was one of those normal countries, in fact most of the world ranging from Australia to Zambia, where people think and operate in their own national currency, or supranational currency if they are in some regional monetary union.

The new statutory instruments here will not affect in any way those businesses that price according to actual costs in Zimbabwe dollars, following in fact proper accounting standards as well as the law. They will probably be the winners, while those who have been manipulating markets are forced to conform or to go out of business. It is the cowboys who will now face the law and a Reserve Bank with big sharp teeth

More: The Sunday Mail


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