Money dealers flood Zim

HARARE - Despite the valiant efforts by Reserve Bank governor John Mangudya to mitigate Zimbabwe’s biting cash crisis, huge challenges remain — a situation that has seen illegal foreign currency dealers resurfacing in numbers around the country over the past few weeks.

News teams from the Daily News established yesterday that with the country experiencing a severe cash crunch that began late last year, illegal foreign currency dealers — and in some cases bank tellers as well — have begun to do fast business, robbing desperate Zimbabweans blind in the process.

In some extreme cases, a number of bank clients claimed that they had allegedly been charged an exorbitant 10 percent “commission” by tellers and dealers for electronic transfers to the accounts of money changers in return for hard cash.

A Harare street dealer even boasted that he was allegedly using his connections within certain banks to access cash and make “nice money” from this.

“I am certainly not exploiting anyone. I see myself as an entrepreneur who is helping people to have instant access to cash which might otherwise take them two to three weeks to get using normal banking channels,” the dealer, who was only prepared to identify himself as Dave, told the Daily News.

In Bulawayo, another dealer said she was making a killing from people changing the South African rand into US dollars, particularly “injiva” — Zimbabweans working in South Africa.

This comes as the central bank recently imposed stringent daily cash withdrawal limits to ease the current cash crisis that has seen people queuing for days at banks to access their funds.

Economic experts have also warned that the apex bank’s decision to introduce bond notes within the next few months would worsen the liquidity and cash crisis, as depositors frantically withdraw their money, fearing the return of the Zimbabwean dollar — which Mangudya says is not on the cards.

Zimbabwe adopted a basket of currencies in 2009 to replace its discredited local currency which had been rendered useless by world-record hyperinflation, with many people — including poor pensioners — losing all their life savings in the process.

Mangudya was earlier this week taken to task by businesspeople for his plan to introduce bond notes at a time when the economy is virtually on its knees.

University of Zimbabwe economics lecturer, Ashok Chakravati, told the Daily News that the move to introduce the bond notes was “unnecessary.”

“Other countries have been in import deficit situations before and history has shown us how export bonuses are awarded without instilling panic in fragile nations.

“An export bonus is appropriate, especially in a country with no way of devaluing the currency like Zimbabwe. The bond notes route is very unnecessary,” Chakravati said.

Businessman Lovemore Mukono said the government did not have the “right to introduce new money” without consulting stakeholders.

“Government needs to reconsider printing any money that has a Zimbabwe bird before we agree. We do not want to have a situation in which people brag to us that they are using our money as toilet paper again.

“We, as businesspeople want assurances that the over-printing horrors of 2008 will not happen again,” he said.

Prominent businessman Shingi Munyeza said the government had to cut its own expenditure before adopting “drastic actions such as the bond notes”.

“We have established that one of the main reasons why we are in this mess is that the government is over-spending. Why then is government not quickly plugging the hole and living within its means?” he asked.

Economist Brains Muchemwa also said the bond notes should not be imposed on the market.

“Currencies have to compete for relevance and bond notes should not be imposed on the market. The market has the right to reject the notes. Besides, the market is not ready for such interventionist measures.

“The country’s history has shown that control measures do not really work. Every time stringent controls are enforced there is always resistance from the market,” Muchemwa said.

The Daily News reported earlier this week that pressure was mounting on President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF, as new data emerged suggesting that Zimbabwe’s economy was teetering on the brink of total collapse.

This prompted analysts and the opposition to observe that the increasingly frail nonagenarian was failing to “rig the economy”.

In its latest damning report on Zimbabwe, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the country’s economic difficulties were set to continue and deepen — amid a grinding recession, the worsening cash crisis, mounting company closures and job losses, and a political legitimacy crisis that is refusing to go away.

“Unless the country takes bold reforms, the economic difficulties will continue in the medium-term,” the fund said in a statement, after consultations with Zimbabwean officials.

Observers also say not much has gone right for Mugabe and Zanu PF since they won the hotly-disputed elections in 2013, with the ruling party ravaged by its seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars.

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said it was clear that the local economy was “dead and buried” and that Mugabe and Zanu PF were “failing to rig the economy”.

“No rocket science is needed to appreciate that the Zimbabwean economy is no longer not even on life support. It’s actually now dead and in the mortuary. With imports far-outstripping our net exports, it’s simply not possible to resuscitate the … economy without fixing the socio-economic and political fundamentals.”

Gutu also warned that the recent introduction of bond notes by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe would not improve the prevailing liquidity and cash crisis, but would further affect confidence levels in the country.

““We have to go back to basics. The illegitimate Zanu PF regime is utterly clueless and it shouldn’t stay in office a day longer if we are to turn around our collapsed economy.

“Mugabe and his entire Cabinet should proceed to do the honourable thing and resign en masse. Anything other than this will not help anyone. Armageddon is beckoning,” he added.

The spokesperson of the People’s Democratic Part (PDP), Jacob Mafume, concurred with Gutu saying the country’s mounting economic hardships were the result of the “stolen” 2013 vote.

“The government is learning the hard way that you cannot rig the economy.

“No amount of rhetoric from Mugabe’s spin doctors or bum-shaking from Mbare Chimurenga Choir singers will mask the obvious fact that every person and family in Zimbabwe is in trouble because of their voodoo economics.

“The people of Zimbabwe need to rescue the present government from this misery of governing the country and allow Mugabe to rest,” he said.

Comments (31)

Zvatanga. Zimbabwe is hopeless. From one crisis to another. And the sad thing is its all man-made.

dejected - 13 May 2016

of cause its their favourate hunting ground and the conditions to catch the frost bitten poor animals is just getting ripe! (we happen to have a 'hunter' on this forum by the way!). typical of vultures circling a dying animal poisoned with cyanide maybe(cyanide is lethal after all). who could have done this to invite these messengers of death?!

SaManyika Chaiye - 13 May 2016

this is very good news. We are back in the streets now at least i can finish my house in vainona that i could not finish since my burning days. I really hope all the rural folk and the war vets keep suffering. they are the reason why we are suffering with this zanu. i hope they die of hunger if not they go to the hospital and have no drugs at all and die. Plus the good thing is that their children also will die in poverty no education they will be stuck in zim and grow poor lives thats good. At least when they see their children in poverty they know what they voted for and how they supressed the MDC that was fighting to make sure they had a decent future.

petros - 13 May 2016

@samanyika,simple english pliz

jojo - 13 May 2016

how is RSA @jojo?! yu bin quiet! yu off at the restaurent or you knoked off at the farm kkkkkkk?! uri pa ofu kuhotera ere kana kuti wakotoka kupuraz?! or you playing on internet instead of working! maybe unirpwa kugara pajoz. enwey, welcome chief diversionist!

SaManyika Chaiye - 13 May 2016

@ SaManyika Chaiye, Good one, there!

Dunlop Munjanja - 13 May 2016

Money dealers are not our problem. it is an inherent nature in human beings to navigate around constraining circumstances, even if it mean "burning" or "dealing" Our problem is our clueless government that put into place structures that can easly be manipulated for self aggrandisement. They do it on purpose. lets brace our selves for the 2008 showdown

Chuhuta Real - 13 May 2016

Money dealers are not our problem. it is an inherent nature in human beings to navigate around constraining circumstances, even if it mean "burning" or "dealing" Our problem is our clueless government that put into place structures that can easly be manipulated for self aggrandisement. They do it on purpose. lets brace our selves for the 2008 showdown

Chuhuta Real - 13 May 2016

Reached dead end,the introduction of Zim dollar is a loud and unambiguous signal that the country is already groping in the darkness.The introduction of the Zim dollar is simply to facilitate looting by those close to high echelons of power.

Gen Spinola - 13 May 2016

@samanyika,i thought your clansmen are renowed for working in kitchens and opposition politics

jojo - 14 May 2016

The only real beneficiary out of the new bond notes will be the ruling elite who will once again be in control through their direct access to the banks. The losers will be us, the povo simply because we will have to buy the real $'s at very inflated rates with the bond notes which the elites will take to the bank and exchange on a 1 to 1 basis, making HUGE profits in the process. Controlling us right now are very greedy and insensitive officials who care about one thing only: themselves? How much more of this kind of nonsense do we have to take before all of us povo stand up and declare: enough?

Mbewa - 14 May 2016

Zimbabwe should adopt the Rand and only the Rand as its currency at the moment. This will bring back export . Economists out there please comment on my proposal

Dzvuke Muchaina - 14 May 2016

@Chihuta; where i come from we say,'' chakupa ronda chati nhunzi dzikudye'' case in question; zanu injured the economy and the flies are laying maggots! rhobhati is the causative agent of these vultures milling around the rotten economy. rhobhati has pulvarised the economy onto shreds and the oppotunist dealers are rushing in for some loose pickings! watz up @Dunlop??

SaManyika Chaiye - 14 May 2016

@samanyika,kindly offer solutions to our challenges,its is easier to analyse and critisize

truth - 14 May 2016

@truth, allow me if you will to make some suggestions: (1) let us firstly get rid of Mugabe and ZANU PF, the very cause of this shocking decay, misery and suffering and a nation in ruins, (2) investigate and prosecute all those officials involved in this blatant corruption that is responsible for crippling the economy and make an example of them so that this form of abuse is never again repeated; (3) put in place quality leadership, figures that genuinely care about the feelings of the masses and will adhere rigidly to our laws and constitution; (4) pay serious attention to our basic infrastructures such as schools, universities, hospitals, roads, the function of our municipalities. @truth, you are nothing but an old and tired ZANU PF propaganda machine that very much like a broken sewer spews out smelly garbage to the masses and with the muscle of your police and army force the povo to accept whether they like it or not. It is people like you who are directly responsible for the mess we now find ourselves in. In many ways you remind me of Saddam Hussein's Minister of Information who flatly refused to accept defeat even when American tanks were in view of the camera? Get real @truth.

White Colonial Boy - 14 May 2016

there yu got it mr @truth from @White Colonial Boy! if its not enough & yu still want today's dosage for that mad head of yoz, pliz say so becoz i have & always carry the golden calabash everywhere i go.

SaManyika Chaiye - 14 May 2016

@samanyika&@ white colonial boy,i ask yu to offer solutions and yu respond with insults,unprovoked,should i take this as confirming the dearth of solutions,its easy to attack zanu,but if yu cannot come up with ideas to rectify,then the masses can as well stick with us

truth - 14 May 2016

is there any mass sticking to yu or zanu rather? there isn't! pple want to associate with zanu so that they are not bothered by partisan police & other rogue aurthorities. pple hang zanu scuffs & bandanas in their wagons to avoid being harassed & maimed by zanu militia that hunt oppositon supporters. yu want to associate with zanu bcoz yu dont want the asians, yo pay masters, to be questioned for their porching escapades that yu lead. mpedzanhamo & mbare traders throng zanu functions becoz they fear for being pushed off their honest source of livelihood by the rogue chipangano gang. most companies sponsor zanu becoz of fear if victimisation. that is why yu think zanu has masses. certain sects(not all please note!) of mapostori throng zanu events to offer fake alliegence in exchange for protection in conceiling abuse of female congregants and perpetuating inhuman practices like not going to helthcare facilities, child marriages, genital mutilation & sexual abuse. wo vetz stick around to siphon the grants that are offered by rhobhati. zanu promotes unrestrained, lawless & pervasive freedoms that encourage immorality, crime & general social & economic decadence! then yu are right again becoz we are really STUCK with zanu. the list is endless @truth and yu cant run a kantry like that! so the solution is; rhobhati & company must go!!

SaManyika Chaiye - 14 May 2016

@SaManyika. If you keep on responding to the trash from this dumb called truth you make him feel he has some thing worth listening to. The chap is simply mentally retarded. No amount of effort will make him see sense. He says his father was a war vet and this gives me a clue that he knows no other Zimbabwe other than the one proffered by by Mugabe. This chap is typical of those who have normalised the abnormal and think this is the way life in Zimbabwe should be. I would say to you do not give him the platform to appear worth of any debateby responding to him. Rather you should continue with due critism of Zanu-PZ topic after topic as they get issued from the Dailynews. This truth chap lives in his own world, far, far away from Zimbabwe. For example, he tells you of coming with ideas to rectify bla-a, bla-a as if he does not know that Zanu-PF ( Mugabe in particular) do not listen neither entertain any any views from any other Zimbabweans because this party has chosen a course of self-serving of the shefs at the expense of the nation. So any view or a solution to their mess by patriotic Zimbabweans like us ( people who love their country) is will quickly be dubbed a regime change mentality. You can tell them yes that is what it is because you have failed and so you have to admit and let go the reigns to run the country. The next thing is you either disappear or, if you are lucky, end up in Chikurubi to make sure no one else will critisize them.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 14 May 2016

This government is now very very mad. Bond ndoridii. we have been there and we will never be there again. they stole our money once, we will not give them another chance to steal again from the masses. The end is here.

bALLI - 14 May 2016

@truth The solution is easier than you think, it only requires the President to bite the bullet. First announce the cancellation of bond notes. Second Import 3 billion ZAR worth. and sell them to banks. Third announce that Govt pay will be in Rands at USD to 18 ZAR as form of devaluation. Fourth There will be no bonus this year. Fifth introduce austerity and tell parastatal manages that all benefits like education, car, housing,gardeners, spouses and children are cancelled . Have a maximum salary linked to the President's pay as they used to do in UK in 1980s. Make nepotism a dismissable offence like Iran. Corruption in public office and theft should be heavily punished like USA and China where they have life sentences. Sixth austerity in govt by examining necessity of each job and removing those in unnecessary positions. All expenditures to be analysed and unnecessary expenditure eliminated. All decisions to be based on cost benefit analysis. Govt foreign expenditure to be curtailed and no first class travel except ministers and one adviser each only. Ministers to share drivers as they now do in UK. Have an official retirement age for senior civil servants. Make the earnings and pay of top civil servants, Meyers and Ministers public , In UK all candidates for Meyer had to make their income public including the Prime Minister, leaders of Opposition and chancellor of exchequer. The austerity in UK, Ireland, Greece and Iceland have turned round their economies. It can do the same in Zimbabwe. Seventh punish corruption heavily as they do in China. You only need to confiscate assets and send a few individuals to long term imprisonment to set up an example. Govt tenders and contracts should be made transparent

bexilford - 14 May 2016

Dear Mr Reserve Bank Governor We know that you love your country, Mr Governor. The problem that we want you to know is that we dont trust those that are behind you. Those are the same guys who ruined the country and the economy before. We know that they have sent you to introduce bond notes so that they can buy a bit of time in the driving seat. We are sorry Mr Governor we have seen the plot and it will never never succeed because we are not going to take bond notes, never ever.

bALLI - 14 May 2016

@truth. You dub SaManyika a white colonial boy. This is the typical brush used by your leaders in Zanu-PF to label black Zimbabweans who critisize your party. One thing I should remind you is that Zimbabwe is not your pocket country: it belongs to all Zimbbabweans. The fact that you threw in the bin the trust given to you to run Zimbabwe by the the people and entrenched your postion so that nobody, but over their dead bodies , can say you are not fit for purpose does make it legitimate that keep on beating your chests that people elected you. Had they known the devils you are they obviuosly will have opted to remain with the devil they knew, Ian Smith. You make aq very bad assumption always ( I have been tracking your posts) that that Zimbabweans fought and voted for a black mamba to replace the opressor Ian Smith. Get it from me : that is not the case. If Iam smith had not descriminated against us blacks, the owners of the land of Zimbabwe for that matter he would have been the prime minister to the end. He was not that clever on this score. Instead of blaming the West Mugabe should be blaming Ian Smith for discrimination against black Africans that lead to the armed struggle. This means we should not have waged a war to remove Smith. That will have been the most beatiful thing about our country: Mugabe and his cronies would not have surfaced at all to plunder, pillage and ruin our country. So you can see why your bloody leader Mugabe cheats and trick you the imbecile that problems in Zimbabwe are caused by the Wwst.

Bobby Sadza reZwiyo - 14 May 2016

@bexilford.good contribution,am show the likes of @viola who are close to the corridors of power have read and will advise ngwena accordingly

truth - 15 May 2016

@bobby sadza reZwiyo,yu seem to have nolstagia for the colonial days,that makes yu,@masamba,@dunlop and @samanika a team,brought together by that your fathers were dzaku dzaku

truth - 15 May 2016

@truth - am glad you use lower case, closer to your fractional IQ. Bishop Muzorewa mentioned stuff about your dear leader and his party and most of what he said is true - they are thieves, they are deceitful, they are back-biters, they are philanderers. I guess the son of a murderer or thief has no choice except to defend his bearer!

Sagitarr - 16 May 2016

@bexi; those are typical templates/prototyopes that any reasonable man would trace to be in keeping with world standards but I tell yu zanu will not take none of that. they dont want to hear about uk or america, let alone taking a leaf from those system. they will start calling it, ''pandering to the whims of the west.'' they know the chinese system but they choose very few lessons that suits them and ignore chinese stance on corruption. zanu is nowhere near to adopting the likes of yo solutions becoz it does not fit in their archaic structure of politibro, central commitee, chipangano styles; those structures are not compatible to zanus soviet style and gangster methods of operating! even if rhobhati try it (of which he is too old to) his cronies will not agree and he will bend to them. the solution is for this team to go (to jail of course)!!!

SaManyika Chaiye - 16 May 2016

@Masamba Akareyo; zviri sey?

SaManyika Chaiye - 16 May 2016

@bexilford you have said the best advise but the regime which we are dealing with will not listen , they are all aware of that but they are evil . They want to keep the masses poor because a poor man is easy to control , what we need to do is take this evil regime head on as citizens .

Mudhara - 16 May 2016

VANITY OF VANITIES ALL IS VANITY

zuluboy - 17 May 2016

What else could be expected. I knew Chinamasa as Minister of Justice........, since back back then. From nowhere he becomes Finance minister. Was he studying finance all these years. God helpbus from the hands and mind of clueless Mugabe.

Diaspora - 19 May 2016

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