This was said by Zimbabwe’s deputy Minister of Finance Clemence Chiduwa during question time in Parliament where he told former Finance Minister Tendai Biti that use of the US dollar did not work for the country.
When Biti argued that it worked as it did during the government of national unity, Chiduwa said: “It does not work for us”
“We are going to use the Zim dollar, how this happened during the GNU, I am sure people know that there was no investment in infrastructure. I think I have answered the Hon. Member. We have got a clear path in terms of where we are going. We cannot run a country with a currency which is not ours. We are going to ensure that we move from the usage of the US dollar to the Zimbabwe dollar, so this is where we are going. “
HON. HWENDE: My question is directed to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. There is a general shortage of cooking on the market and where you find it, the manufacturers have now started selling the cooking oil in USD. What is the Government’s policy regarding companies that are given preference on the auction system to get foreign currency and then they go and sell the products in USD like United Refineries? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order! Hon. P. D. Sibanda, yesterday I cautioned you for being unparliamentary.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. CHIDUWA): Thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, and thank you Hon. Hwende for the question. The question is very clear where the Hon. Member is saying we have got cases where retailers and wholesalers, those who are accessing foreign currency from the auction floor that are selling their products in foreign currency. Selling in foreign currency according to the dual system that we have at the moment is legal.
In cases where a product is being sold in foreign currency, there should be a display to show the equivalent in ZWL. However, cases where the implied rate or the displayed rate is at variance with the auction rate, this then becomes illegal. So the penalties that we have stipulated are those that were stipulated under SI 127. Statutory Instrument 127 expired and we then incorporated it under the Finance Bill and it is part of the Finance Act. Therefore, the penalties are still obtaining. So, the long and short of it is where the exchange rate being used is at variance with the auction rate, we apply the administrative penalties as contained in the Finance Act.
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