'Your days are now numbered' - ED warns illegal forex dealers

HARARE - President Emmerson Mnangagwa has moved a step closer towards dealing decisively with unscrupulous Zanu PF bigwigs and businesspeople who are involved in the illegal trading of foreign currency in the country.

As has been accurately reported by the Daily News over the past few days, Mnangagwa announced yesterday that he would soon use temporary emergency powers to crush the rampaging foreign currency black market that has caused untold economic upheaval.

He also warned that he would bring “grief” to some banking executives — including officials at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) — whom he accused of aiding and abetting the illegal trading in foreign currency.

This comes as the government has come under immense pressure to end the current economic turmoil which began when authorities recently unveiled a slew of measures aimed at reviving the haemorrhaging local economy.

“We need to show all offenders that crime does not pay, but that it is painfully paid for by way of compounded grief when it visits upon all such offenders.

“Accordingly, I have now instructed the minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to work closely and expeditiously with the Attorney-General in order to produce a new set of regulations which will be promulgated under temporary law-making powers which I, as president, am allowed by the Constitution.

“These regulations will remain in force for a statutory period of six months, during which a Bill will have to be processed for consideration by our legislators,” Mnangagwa said yesterday in his weekly column in State media.

“We have to end this menace which now threatens the very fabric of our economy and society.

“Like I said, there will be a raft of other interventions which, for obvious reasons, I am not at liberty to disclose. Those who walk the straight and narrow need not fear,” he added.

The 76-year-old veteran Zanu PF leader said the presidential powers that he would use to deal with the forex criminals would not disrupt normal life — but were aimed at the ruling party bigwigs and businesspeople who were engaged in speculative activities which were driving the illegal foreign currency trade.

The planned action — which is permissible under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act — empower him to make regulations dealing with situations that require to be acted upon as a matter of urgency.

On Friday, Mnangagwa had also warned that the net was closing in on Zanu PF bigwigs and businesspeople who stand accused of sabotaging his government’s efforts to revive the country’s sickly economy.

“We are now certain and clear of the personalities behind these wicked and criminal activities and the net is closing in on them.

“We will soon name, shame and bring to book these gluttonous individuals and companies,” he said during a graduation ceremony at Bindura State University.

Zimbabwe is in the throes of a huge economic crisis which has seen the country slipping back to frightening levels similar to the disastrous 2008 hyper-inflationary

The country has been experiencing acute shortages of foreign currency, which in recent weeks have triggered shocking price hikes, shortages of essential medical drugs and basic consumer goods.

Long-forgotten fuel queues have also resurfaced, with most garages failing to meet the demands of motorists and industry.

Both industry and retailers have blamed the illegal foreign currency trade for the spike in the prices of basic consumer goods, as well as the sharp rise in production costs.

Mnangagwa said yesterday that the reports he had recently received “pointed to an intricate network of currency speculators mostly in high places and in places of trust”.

Last week the Daily News accurately reported that Mnangagwa had been handed a dossier containing the names of bigwigs and businesspeople who were behind money laundering and illegal foreign currency trading.

Interestingly, Mnangagwa said yesterday that he would also focus on the RBZ and some banks, as he sought to “cleanse” the country of speculative tendencies.

“In a number of cases which have now been brought to government’s attention, some of our guardians of the financial services sector have either not discharged their roles fully, or have not done so honestly.

“In other cases, some have colluded with negative elements, both inside and outside the banking system, to aid and abet these illicit transactions.

“Considering that more than $9 billion is passing through different electronic platforms and leaving an ‘electronic trail’, it is inconceivable that these illicit transactions have and can ever go on undetected or unnoticed,” he said.

“It simply cannot be. Someone somewhere sees this, or simply winks. Overall, it is a story of sins of both omission and commission. Our whole financial sector risks disrepute, and therefore sanity has to be restored.

“In most economies, sudden huge movements of money or unexplained ‘swelling’ of deposits raise eyebrows. Millions have been moved unexplained in our financial services sector, with no one batting an eyelid.

“In the United States of America, they have the Office of Foreign Assets Control. We need a similar measure in our financial services sector,” Mnangagwa added.

The government’s recent austerity measures, which are seen as the first steps towards reviving the country’s economy, did not find resonance with the majority of fearful Zimbabweans.

However, Mnangagwa has said the country must endure this “temporary” pain as the measures take root.

The government’s new measures resulted in panic-buying and volatility in the economy, and also saw parallel foreign currency market rates shooting through the roof.


Comments (16)

One wonders whether this warning is not actually an advice to actors to clean their act - clapping your hands before you shoot a bird with a catapult. Government's internal debt soared because government was buying greenback from the black market to finance zanupf election campaign. The bigwigs continued with the practice this time only for selfish purposes hence the warning. Nothing significant will happen to them only a few 'runners' will be sacrificed. The nation is still owed an explanation as to what became of the much hyped foreign currency externalisers naming shaming and prosecuting.

Sinyo - 22 October 2018

haaah ngaatibvire , he is a toothless bull dog kungowavata.It reminds me of a shame list he published of perceived money laundering and externalizers. What came out from that shame of list still puzzles me up to now.The list was published about 6 months ago and up to now nothing has been done to those economic saboteurs saka save us that nonsense what this country needs is action.

taneta kwatabvakure - 22 October 2018

Where in the world are criminals treated with kid gloves and given weeks of warnings instead of just being arrested? Arrest them if there is evidence otherwise keep quiet.

Sagitarr - 22 October 2018

The financial haemorrhaging that we are experiencing is just the tip of the iceberg of a fundamentally flawed economy in need of bold, imaginative and visionary solutions beyond taxing an ailing and almost collapsed economy. The starting point is to acknowledge that we are broke as a country and we need to go back to basics in order to haul ourselves out of this deplorable and self inflicted mess. The idea of buying posh vehicles and giving each other perks as well as other hefty allowances in our current circumstances is as selfish, insensitive and as it is also insulting to the public. Any effort by the leadership to display the willingness and desire to make sacrifices and forgo some of these benefits might generate the buy in and support from the public, that will also begin to appreciate sort of suicidal belt tightening that Mthuli Ncube is talking about. Stop this looting and commit your government to honest and honourable public service including through fixing the economy genuinely and comprehensively. Cease this practice of pointing fingers at the wrong people or barking up the wrong tree when faced with hard and stubborn issues that need to be tackled through good and effective governance. No one able to sabotage a strong and well managed economy to the extent that it has occurred in Zimbabwe. Ironically it is the the government that is guilty of the same offence and could easily qualify as the principal saboteur of the economy. Lastly, and as a parting shot, please go after all the crooks and looters, you quoted, with consistency and without fear or favour. Take heed that the grapevine has it that some of the people involved in illegal foreign exchange dealings might be very close to you. I will pledge you my full and wholehearted support if you pursue everyone, including the ones mentioned above, with undiminished zeal and vigour.

Jaikolu Maison - 22 October 2018

How did we finance the election campaign and buy all the posh 4 x 4 being driven to date ? Where did you buy the 4 x 4 and if out of forex from where ? Who financed this plus the bilboards around Zim ? Who is on the receiving end ?

Mospene - 22 October 2018

Corruption taramba vana veZimbabwe. Ini semumwi nyaya yangu ndeye corruption ku Delta. Almost all drivers nema manager acho vane mabhawa and mabhawa awo ndiwo ane doro chete. Kumwe kwese kunenge kusina chiro. Ma Company makuru akaita seDelta must lead by example. Kuno kuZimunya hatichazivi chinonzi doro because the mutare depot is too corrupt. It's unfair.

Naboth - 22 October 2018

Minster Gumbo, due to his deceitful and incompetent past and present behavior has become an embarrassment to you Mr President. Do the honorable thing and put him out pasture.

David - 22 October 2018

I am a very simple Layman to Financial Jargonised statements. Could someone just tell me in simple terms Where the money to charter a plane for Grace for her mothers funeral came from. Was it paid in Bond-Notes, or was it paid in the Much -hipped Foreign Currency which is said to be in short supply? Pliz someone give us an insight to this before descenting on these Catagorised bunch of Sacrificial Lambs

Is She refered to as Dr right now? - 22 October 2018


John Gwizo - 22 October 2018

Mr president vana tatambura sungayi vanhu kunyange vana venyu sungayi

mafiravanhu - 22 October 2018

WHO ARE THE FOREX DEALERS? KKK RBZ, DONT WASTE OUR TIME WITH PROPAGANDA. ASK ED if his govt can survive without buying forex on the black market, I bet you it cant last one week. This is another ED circus. Kuno ku black market ndokuneyese cash.

Ballista - 23 October 2018

Many thanks to finance minister Ncube for exposing these politicians but I am not happy with the minister after saying we stopped purchasing minister's cars, we saw a few days ago new Toyota land cruisers and Merc trucks for ministers. This guy indicates left and turns right. This govt cannot get our support becoz they tax us to finance their luxury, hapana chiri kubuda, I wonder if this is the Zimbabwe we all want that this Lunatic Chiwenga keeps talking about.

Ndajamukawo - 23 October 2018

The title of this story should instead be ED's days are numbered. This old man has failed, all the wheels are braking. Can investors trust a govt with a critical institution like the RBZ running a foreign currency cartel. Everyday govt scandals are eroding confidence in the so called authorities, they are corrupt to the core.

Baba Mary - 23 October 2018

if we answer the question of who created the 9.3 billion unearned income in the financial system, we would be solving the problem..bond notes are allegedly only 400 m in circulation, tip of the ice berg.. the problem of forex shortage will exceed this drama.."' i read somewhere that do not stand on the way of a strong wave lest you get swept away"'

mpiza - 23 October 2018

But all this nonsense is attributed to the introduction of the bond note into the market despite resistance by the general populace,this is gono part two which was replayed to us in another name with the objective of mopping our real money.There is no need to make all this noise just do it quietly ,because all this noise will not bring back our stolen hard earned money and you are just taking us for a ride zvenyu zviri kufamba nekuti ndimi masabhuku ezimbabwe isu vamwe tirivauyi munyika yenyu.

TAPIWA MUZOZO - 23 October 2018

what do you people gain from your comments FYI ed and chamisa are living their lives bho bho stop wasting time nezvinhu zvisina future actions speak louder than words

Vonaikunakakwashe - 27 October 2018

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