Source: EDITORIAL COMMENT : Bring currency manipulators to book | The Herald September 30, 2019
It is trite, but a true observation that some powerful people and companies are manipulating our national currency at the expense of the economy and indeed at the expense of all and sundry.
These are self-defined economic saboteurs of our time and they should not be tolerated by any measure.
This has been happening for too long and the nation has suffered because of a few individuals who are liquid in both local and foreign currency.
There is no doubt that the manipulative stunt is compromising the country for the current generation and generations to come. If not nipped, we will go down in the history of the country as those men and women who failed to bring sanity to the national economy.
We will be cursed not only by our ancestors, but by our own children.
We know that the manipulation of the currency has resulted in high exchange rates and that the retailers are responding to the rates by increasing prices, whose downstream effect is felt right down to the lowest strata in the society. The new political dispensation has done a lot to rebuild the country’s economy from a long hiatus and this is time for all to be proactive than to sabotage the economy.
There is no doubt that the manipulation of the economy by the few is brazen sabotage to the economy, to the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) and that it has an overall effect on the process leading to the attainment of Vision 2030.
It is good news that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC)and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) have moved in to thwart a cartel of powerful people and companies that are working on raising the exchange rates on the black market.
The move is backed by laws among them two most important laws of the land — the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act, the Anti-Corruption Commission Act and the Exchange Control Act.
That means ZACC and RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit should move in quickly to act on the offenders and bring sanity to the exchange market and hence everything else, including stabilising the pricing regime of goods.
It is also laudable that the Government on Friday weighed in to outlaw the use of foreign currency through two Statutory Instruments SI213 of 2019 gazetted under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of the Exchange Control Act) Regulations 2019, officially making the Zimbabwe dollar the sole currency for domestic transactions.
Zimbabweans in their broad totality would want the economy to stabilise and live a normal life.
The time is now for ZACC and RBZ to really show the country that they have teeth to bite those who have been deliberately soiling the economy. At this juncture there is no justification for ZACC and RBZ to fail to deal with this situation given that the Government has done everything in its power to give legal impetus to their operations.
We are told currency manipulators are not too many. We are told again that the currency manipulators are generally known that they were reading a lot into the laws.
Now that the Government has plugged the legal holes and given RBZ and ZACC the needed support to execute their duties, we hope that ZACC and RBZ will up their game and do the country proud; that they will go down in history as the two organisations that finally solved our exchange rate jigsaw puzzle.
Indeed, there is no longer any excuse and the more we see people not only being arrested, but also being convicted and sentenced to deterrent jail terms.
Finally, it should be our duty as Zimbabweans to help RBZ and ZACC to get to the bottom of this matter for our own good.
We know the manipulators. They live among us. We deal with them every day. Let us do what is good for our country.