HON. CHIKWINYA: My supplementary borders on the deterrent measures as contained in S.I. 127 of 2021 as the Hon. Deputy Minister has said. If you may enlighten Parliament so that at least in our oversight role we take scale of the deterrent measures, whether they are deterrent enough to scare away those perpetrators or they may easily be accommodated within the profiteering mechanism? Moreso, can you also enlighten Parliament on what basis we are coming up with an auction bank rate that is rejected by everyone and they drift to the parallel market? What is the basis of the official exchange rate because we may be putting in a law which is to the extent that it is rejected by everyone and everyone moves over to the parallel exchange rate? Perhaps he can combine those two particular items. Thank you.
HON. CHIDUWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. The response that the Hon. Member wants, these are specific fines but I would want to give an example; let us say there is a case where the retailer is using an exchange rate which is not in sync with the exchange rate that was used at the auction, in most of the cases it is RTGs50 000 and if it is RTGs50 000, surely it is not deterrent enough but what we have also said is what we can do which is to use all the products that are on display. Where we have got 20 products and each product is going to attract a fine of RTGs50 000, then this is going to be deterrent enough. I think this is where we may need to revise and say let us come up with measures which are deterrent enough. I think what is needed is for us to follow the law. If the Finance Act is saying we fine RTGS50 000, we cannot vary that unless if there is an amendment. So that is what we follow.
The other issue is that the Hon. Member asked the issue of the exchange rate which is being rejected by everyone. I am not sure if that exchange rate is being rejected by everyone. There is no way we can sanitise what is happening in the black market and take it as official. If something is illegal, it is illegal and I think what the Hon. Members may need to appreciate is, it is very easy for a country to be drawn into some of these things that are happening when our currency is under attack. Currency attack can actually be used. The issue we are dealing with here is the determination of the exchange rate which is dependent on fundamentals. Are our fundamentals in place? Yes, our fundamentals are in place.
We look at the current accounts. Our current account even for the first four months is in surplus. So the fundamentals are in place and what is important is for us now to look at who is sabotaging the currency and this is where we are. In terms of our response, we mentioned that on Thursday next week, we will come up with a ministerial statement and that is what we are going to do. Thank you.
HON. CHIKWINYA: At the beginning of this session, we did not have substantive ministers and an apology was given that they were supposed to be travelling from their point of Cabinet meeting to this House. Now I see some of them and my question is, does the ruling of the Speaker still hold that the struggling interim Leader of Government Business is still continuing or we are changing to another Leader of Government Business?
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