Illegal money changers have resumed their activities in the Bulawayo Central Business District while some are now operating from residential areas in defiance of the 21-day national lockdown imposed by the government on Monday last week to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The money changers are taking advantage of people who get into town for essential services while the reopening of international money transfer agencies could further boost their activities.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed that money changers were coming back to the streets and warned that police will continue making raids on them. He said:
As we were doing our lockdown campaigns in the central business district, we observed that Osiphatheleni were coming back to the streets.
We ordered those who were in their cars to leave town and comply with the Government’s directive on lockdown. We will continue conducting raids on them.
We have realised that they are taking advantage of the fact that some members of the public would be coming into town for essential services. These illegal money changers also want to take advantage of those coming into town.
According to Zimrates.com, street rates had soared to as high as 1:45 for electronic transfers and 1:32.8 on Tuesday.
Last week the rates had tumbled to as low as 1:39 for electronic transfers because of the government’s stay-at-home orders.