EDITORIAL COMMENT: Govt must act decisively to stop illegal forex transactions

17 Jan, 2020 - 00:01 0 Views
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Govt must act decisively to stop illegal forex transactions

The Chronicle

Businesses that continue to quote prices in foreign currency are economic saboteurs and measures must be put in place to stop this. Government which outlawed the use of multi-currency last June, has said that all local transactions must be in local currency. 

What is however obtaining on the ground is that a number of businesses continue to quote prices in forex and are accepting payments in US dollar or other currencies such as the rand. It seems these unscrupulous businesses are taking advantage of the fact that they are not being arrested for engaging in illegal transactions involving forex. 

Government has said it will not tolerate acts of economic sabotage but as long as those engaging in such acts are not punished, this warning will not be taken seriously. The road map articulated in Vision 2030 whose key building block is the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, demands discipline in the market place. 

Businesses quoting prices in forex are working against Government’s currency reforms and there is therefore an urgent need to whip such unscrupulous businesses into line. There are also sharks manipulating the exchange rate which the errant businesses are basing their prices on. 

Those who deliberately manipulate exchange rates to destabilise the economy are economic saboteurs who do not share our national vision of turning around the economy. These individuals should not only be exposed but measures should be put in place to stop their nefarious acts which are motivated by greed.

The businesses that are pegging prices based on manipulated exchange rates should also be exposed and punished. 

Workers’ salaries are being eroded because prices are being indexed in US dollar hence the civil servants are demanding to have their salaries indexed to the interbank rate. 

Government and the business community should have by now agreed on clear ground rules which ensure fair play in the market. It is a fact that there is a lot of mischief in the market place meant to derail progress in growing the economy. 

We want at this juncture to implore Government to move swiftly to stop the illegal transactions in forex. Some businesses are pushing for the return of the multi-currency system despite Government’s position that there is no going back on decision to use our own currency. There is no country that can perpetually depend on other countries’ currencies and Zimbabwe is no exception.

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