Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has assured all visitors to the country that the removal of the multi-currency system from the economy will not affect them.
Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, through Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019, on Monday removed the multi-currency system in Zimbabwe replacing it with a local unit of account (RTGS$/ZWL) for transacting purposes.
The move was meant to bring normalcy to the economy.
In a statement yesterday, ZTA said the regulations are meant for any transactions within Zimbabwe where it was illegal to use foreign currency in hard cash.
“The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority would like to assure all visitors to Zimbabwe that the recently promulgated Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations, 2019 will not negatively affect the travelling public, specifically foreign visitors.
“The regulations are meant for any transactions carried out within Zimbabwe, where it is now illegal to use foreign currency in hard cash.
“The legal tender shall be the Zimbabwe dollar in both cash and electronic format,” said the authority.
ZTA added that any freely convertible foreign currencies remain acceptable in Zimbabwe as follows:
“Credit cards are readily acceptable everywhere in Zimbabwe where the relevant arrangements have been made with the international credit card companies such as Visa, Master Card and others issued by different banks in the countries of origin of the travellers.
“Visitors are required to make the necessary arrangements with their banks before embarking on travel and when in the destination they need to look out for the logos of their respective credit cards.
“Please note that terms and conditions of the respective credit cards will apply and transactions are subject to the limits given by the banks.”
ZTA said visitors may also withdraw local cash from international credit card enabled Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of the different banks. These will be clearly marked international and will have the logos of the accepted credit card companies.
The tourism authority said foreign cash may be exchanged at the bank, bureau-de-change or any other authorised foreign currency dealers at the prevailing bank rates.
“Visitors may then use the so acquired local currency to transact. Visitors are, however, encouraged to use plastic money and only exchange amounts of money in cash that they anticipate to use.
“Visitors may convert their money back to their foreign currency subject to prevailing terms and conditions and this may include proof in the prescribed format that one changed money upon their arrival,” said ZTA.
Online payments and telegraphic transfers remain acceptable forms of payment in Zimbabwe and Visa fees where applicable are payable in foreign currency and may be paid in cash at any port of entry.
It said the Government has an e-visa system and intending travellers may apply and pay for their visas online.
“Tipping is not a commercial transaction and hence visitors are at liberty to tip the way they want.
“It becomes incumbent upon the recipient to ensure adherence to the foreign exchange regulations,” said ZTA, adding that it has it on good authority that reports circulating in certain sections of the social media purporting that police are authorised to stop and search people for foreign currency were untrue and should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Dr John Mangudya, has reiterated that companies and individuals can still withdraw their money held in forex currency accounts and non-governmental organisations can still pay their workers in forex.
The Apex Bank Governor has also clarified that possession of forex in the pockets or in FCAs was also permissible but one would need to exchange the money into the Zimbabwe dollar to conduct transactions. — @okazunga.