BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
FINANCE deputy minister Clemence Chiduwa yesterday said the government had no plans to dump the free-falling Zimbabwe dollar, adding that authorities would instead ramp up surveillance and penalise businesses using the black-market rate.
Businesses are pricing goods and services in United States dollars while some are using the parallel market rate as the local currency continues on a free-fall amid rising inflation.
The local currency is trading at US$1 to $400 against $160 under the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) controlled auction rate.
“We cannot run a country without the monetary policy Act. So, for us in terms of where we are going with regards to the use of the Zimbabwe dollar, we cannot run a country with a currency that is not ours,” Chiduwa said responding to questions in Parliament.
“Selling in foreign currency according to the dual system that we have at the moment is legal. We said in cases where a product is being sold in foreign currency there should be a display to show the equivalent in Zimbabwe dollars that is the position.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa claimed that the economy was being sabotaged to incite Zimbabweans to stage protests aimed at his ouster.
Chiduwa added: “But now cases where the implied rate or the displayed rate is at variance with the auction rate this then becomes illegal. What is needed is for us to move a step forward and ensure that we apply the administrative penalty as laid out in the Finance Act.
“In terms of administrative penalties for those who are violating the auction rules we move around as a Financial Intelligence Unit to check for those who are violating the auction rules.”