Zimbabwe Announces Penalties to Curb Currency Speculation

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa published penalties for companies and individuals to prevent what the government describes as profiteering from selling hard currency it makes available at auctions.

 

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will issue fines to companies and individuals if foreign currency obtained directly or indirectly from the weekly auction or from banks is used for purposes other than that specified in the application.

A fine of up to Z$1 million ($11,800) or an amount equivalent to the value of the foreign currency obtained will be imposed, according to the regulations. Companies and individuals will also be liable for a penalty of Z$50,000 if they refuse to accept payment in local currency at the official exchange rate of Z$84 per U.S. dollar, or use an exchange rate above the official one.

The gap between the official and parallel-market exchange rate has widened to as much as Z$125 per U.S. dollar, according to marketwatch.co.zw, a local website which tracks the rates.

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