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Friday, March 31, 2023

Economic saboteurs on the loose

By Davison Vandira

At a time government is promoting the use of the local currency alongside the United States dollar, some retailers continue to charge certain goods and services exclusively in foreign currency and bench-marking prices using the parallel market rate.

From grocery shops in the downtown of Harare to hard wares along Harare and Kaguvi streets and even some big retail outlets, the general public is at the mercy of errant retailers and wholesalers, who are charging their goods and services exclusively in US dollars, while also inflating their price in local currency to match the parallel market rate for the greenback.

For consumers, most of whom are earning the local currency, such behaviour amounts to economic sabotage given that the government has put in place the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe foreign currency auction as well as the interbank systems, where they can get foreign currency.

“We are very disheartened by the level of sabotage that is happening across the financial ecosystem which is hampering economic progress despite the fact that the government led by his Excellence President Emmerson Mnangagwa is a listening administration that is open and is always ready to support the citizenry,” a shopper told ZBC News.

Another said, “It is time for everyone to safeguard the interests of the economy especially businesses by being considerate to the economic welfare of every Zimbabwean.”

“We should ensure there is patriotism in the actions of economic agents and we envisage a situation where we pride ourselves in ethical operations and drive our economy towards our broad economic objectives,” another added.

With some contractors have been blacklisted for channelling their payments to the parallel market, Zimbabweans feel the net needs to be cast wider to deal decisively with acts of financial malpractices that have for years contributed to inflation and economic instability.

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