Government of Zimbabwe Urged to Conduct Investigation into Individuals and Institutions Supplying Cash to Illegal Money Changers in Zimbabwe

The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) is deeply concerned that there will be no end to illegal money changers and the black market in the financial sector unless if there is restoration of political-will and the rule of law to deal with the problem.

ACT-SA noted with concern that the new currency first surfaced in the black market before it was issued by the local banks. Even after banks started issuing the new currency notes, there is more cash in the black market than what local banks are issuing. To this end, ACT-SA demands that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), Zimbabwean local banks and other financial institutions should explain why huge quantities of the new currency notes first surfaced in the black market before being issued by the local banks. Even after the banks started issuing the new currency, the black market has more money than what these banks are issuing to their clients on a daily basis. This has given an impression that the black market is more vibrant than the formal financial sector. Mr. Obert Chinhamo, the Director of ACT-SA has called for an investigation into the status quo and the suppliers of cash to the illegal money changers.

“It is strange that the black has never run short of cash at all times, which means that they have a rich source of the cash thereof. More strange is the fact that the black market had access to the new currency before it was even issued by the local banks. There is something wrong somewhere. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the local banks should be asked to explain.” he says

Mr. Chinhamo added that his organisation is disturbed by lawlessness and shocking lack of interest by policy-makers and the law enforcement agents to deal with rogue elements in the financial sector.

“What is shocking is that these illegal money changers carry out their illegal businesses publicly. They are all over the place in major towns and cities. However, no action is taken against them, regardless of their activities being illegal. This is preposterous and disturbing,” he says.

ACT-SA is urging the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe to:

  1. Conduct an enquiry into individuals and institutions supplying cash to illegal money changers, especially how these illegal money changers got access to the new currency even before it was issued by local banks;
  2. Strictly enforce the law against rogue elements in the financial sector since their activities have negative implications on the functioning of the economy;
  3. Consider re-assigning employees of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe responsible for cash management.

Source: Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA)