BY VIMBAI MAJAHA
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya dropped names of 18 companies whom he accuses of abusing the foreign exchange auction system in a naming and shaming scheme, warning the companies will face stiff penalties.
Companies including National Foods, Africa Steel, and Source Fuels, stand accused of getting cheap money on the auction system before turning to black market rates in a bid to reap huge returns.
Mangudya said the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit and the Banks Exchange Control Division had investigated the 18 companies and had found them in the wrong.
The RBZ boss said stiff penalties will be used to bring discipline in the market.
“According to investigations by the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Banks Exchange Control Division the entities listed hereunder which were abusing the foreign exchange auction system shall be dealt with in accordance with SI127,” wrote Mangudya.
Government recently introduced SI 127 in an effort to control black-market pricing of commodities against the USD by many shops that were using rates divorced from the official foreign currency exchange.
Mangudya said SI 127 was put in place to protect consumers and fostering compliance to engender fair play in the economy.
“The bank has a duty of care to ensure that the significant progress that the economy made since the introduction of the foreign exchange auction system in June 2020 continues on an unabated positive trajectory whilst at the same time protecting consumers and fostering compliance to engender fair play in the economy”.
In addition, the bank’s efforts to foster compliance in terms of Statutory Instrument 127 will be limited to the outliers that extravagantly abuse foreign currency exchange system, exchange rate manipulation, and non-compliance with anti-money laundering rules and regulations.
Business is jittery over SI 127 and has over the past few weeks adjusted prices upwards to hedge themselves from inflationary vibes.