Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter
THE director of Consolidated Farming Investments, trading as Farm and City, Tanaka Hofisi, yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates Courts on allegations of selling products using an exchange rate above the official rate of $88,55.
Hofisi, who was represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri, was not asked to plead to the charges when he appeared before regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje charged with violating the Exchange Control Act.
He was remanded in custody to October 25.
The State led by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti alleged that Hofisi connived with his co-directors, Chester Noel Muteve and Shingirai Norman Chibanguza, to sell their products using $185 as the exchange rate.
Muteve and Chibanguza are still at large, according to the State.
They are alleged to have pegged the price of a 5-litre multi-clean liquid at $613,60 or US$3,33, implying that their exchange rate was $185 against US$1, according to the State.
This was against the official exchange rate which was announced on October 5.
Mr Mutsokoti had it that Statutory Instrument 127 of 2021 prohibits selling, displaying and offering of goods or services for sale at an exchange rate above the ruling exchange rate in Zimbabwe.
On October 7, officials from the Financial Intelligence Unit, John Marshall Chinembiri and Tanaka Lincoln Sanyamahwe, went to Farm and City along Wynne Street in Harare and bought the 5-litre multi-clean liquid for $613,60 and US$3,33.
The two FIU officials were given point of sale receipts.
In a related matter, Bestzone Pharmacy and its director Isaac Chipako separately appeared before the same court facing similar allegations.
Chipako and his company, who were represented by lawyers Mr Admire Rubaya and Mr Malvern Mapako, were not asked to plead to the charges and were remanded to November 2 on $20 000 bail.
They were charged with violating the Exchange Control Act.
Mr Mutsokoti, appearing for the State, had it that on October 6, the police learnt through social media that Simbisa Brands was selling Russian sausage and chips for US$1 or $200, which was said to be against the official exchange rate.
The court heard that on the following day, RBZ deployed officials to make investigations in various shops.
Richard Mubata and Humphrey Takaza went to purchase cough syrup from Bestzone Pharmacy for $1 250 and US$7.
It is alleged that Bestzone was using the exchange rate of US$1: $180, which is against the official rate of US$1: $88,55 pegged on October 5.