Business and Technology

Go to the bank not black market for USD: Governor tells businesses

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mushyavanhu has said the central bank has enough reserves to satisfy the foreign currency requirements of all legitimate businesses and no business needs to go to the black market to source cash for imports.

In an interview with Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN) on Thursday, April 11, Mushayavanhu said businesses should approach their banks to buy ZiGs or US dollars instead of promoting the black market.

The Street Rate has reportedly jumped since the launch of the new currency, to ZiG18 per US$1, although the money changers are paying a lot less to buy that US dollar.

Also Read: RBZ Governor’s Stance on Fuel Payment in ZiG Currency Compromised as he Reportedly Owns Fuel Company

The central bank has adopted a market-determined system for setting exchange rates, with the auction system being replaced by the interbank foreign exchange market.

Mushayavanhu yesterday claimed that it was a matter of time before those with ZiG will start controlling the prices. He said:

I do not understand why anyone would go to the black market when we have said… if you have a legitimate foreign currency obligation to pay be it a service, be it school fees, be it import of goods, you will be able to get your money at your bank on a willing seller-willing buyer.

When asked why the central bank did not put measures for ZiGs to be able to buy fuel and pay for passport fees, Mushayavanhu said it was not necessary given that the US dollar is the dominant currency in the economy. He said:

The economy is 80 percent dollarised and I have said this before. Right now if I search the pockets of the people who are the audience here, I am likely to find for every US$100, $80 will be in real US and $20 equivalent in local currency.

That is the nature of things. Unless you are saying the 80 per cent that you have is not enough to pay for your rent and only the 20 per cent that is ZiG is the one that should pay for rent and nothing else.

Mushayavanhu also urged banks to finalise the configuration of their systems to allow their clients to transact in ZiG before the end of this week. He said:

We are urging our banks to speed up the processes of conversion, but banks are using core banking systems that have been provided by different vendors.

Some vendors were quick to convert while others did not even get their conversions until Saturday evening. So, we have allowed banks to continue the conversion processes, but obviously, we need to ensure that before the end of this week every bank is online and customers can make transactions.

We are urging our banks to speed up the processes of conversion, but banks are using core banking systems that have been provided by different vendors.

Meanwhile, in a post on X, presidential spokesperson George Charamba asserted that those advocating for the use of ZiG to purchase fuel and pay for passports are inadvertently pushing for de-dollarisation. He said:

If you argue that ZiG must buy everything, don’t then recoil from the logical conclusion which this leads you to, namely that let’s get back to a single currency. Which argument I like, by the way!

The shift from the Zimbabwe dollar system to ZiG has caused confusion and uncertainty among businesses. Companies have had to adapt their financial systems, pricing structures, and accounting practices to accommodate ZiG.

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