By Leafius Mazviro
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has frozen up 16 bank accounts for traders, individuals, and companies who were found flouting regulating to the prescribed rates and fueling economic instability.
Retailers and manufacturers who were completely charging certain goods in foreign currency and using the parallel market rate for currency conversion in defiance of the Government monetary were warned by the FIU to go back to ethical business practices.
FIU Director General Mr Oliver Chiperesa said last week, they had to freeze additional accounts that also included those of individuals and some companies had paid fines following the closure of their bank accounts by the central bank.
“This past week, we also froze an additional six bank accounts of traders who were also violating the regulations relating to the prescribed rates that must be used by traders and penalties will be issued to them this week.
“The penalties are usually in the form of fines and as we said before repeated offenders will end up being recommended for cancellation of trading licences.
We have also frozen the accounts of 10 individuals and companies who were involved in the parallel market.
“They are not necessarily traders but they are companies in various sectors as well as individuals whom we traced their transactions and found that they were participating in fueling the exchange rate on the parallel market,” he said.
Mr. Chiperesa commended the Government’s efforts in ensuring the arrest of those who forward pricing and malpractices that were believed to be fueling exchange rate vitality, stating that these measures were stabilising the local currency.
“We have witnessed that for the first time in the last five or six weeks, the black market rate is now starting to stabilise because of the effectiveness of the policies that have been put in place which we are supporting as the FIU by making sure that those who destabilise the foreign exchange are dealt with severely in terms of the law”.
However, some analysts claim that there is no change, and the local currency continues to lose grounds against the greenback.
Mr. Chiperesa said retailers across the country have assured them that they were rectifying their pricing models.
“We engaged with them and they assured us that they are relooking into their pricing models. Yes, some had items that they were not allowing their clients to pay using local currency, but we have told them that is not acceptable and they agreed to rectify it.
“They also assured us that customers will be able in local currency for all goods whose prices have been marked in foreign currency only,” he said.