Zimbabwe dismisses rumours of new forex rules


The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) today said rules regarding the withdrawal of foreign currency from individual accounts remain unchanged.

The assurances come amidst panic created by a leaked confidential document from one of the country’s commercial banks which stated that individuals getting salaries in foreign currency would no longer be allowed to make withdrawals in hard currency.

The document, which was for internal circulation, claimed individuals would only be allowed to withdraw foreign currency in cash with specific permission from the central bank.

At the same time, any unused salary balances would, after 30 days from day of deposit be converted to local currency at the going bank exchange rate.

Daggers had already been drawn, with salvos fired at the central bank for lack of consistency and attempting to raid people’s foreign currency accounts.

The RBZ, in a series of tweets on its official account, however dismissed the claims as false.

“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe would like to dismiss the social media reports suggesting that Nostro Accounts will be raided by the RBZ and Ministry of Finance & Economic Development,” the central bank said.

“This assertion should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves. There hasn’t been any change in the operation of Nostro Accounts.”

The central bank is pushing for the use of a mono-currency in the country, with the Zimbabwean dollar as legal tender at a time it is also battling to contain a stubborn parallel market, whose operations are threatening stability of the local currency.

Some individuals with access to, and those working for international organisations, non-governmental organisations and other corporates earning salaries in foreign currency, are among those involved in parallel market trading as they shun the official markets which ordinarily offer lower exchange rates.

And with the stiff competition among companies to access foreign currency given shortages in the formal market, some turn to the black market which as a result continues to thrive despite efforts by monetary authorities to thwart its operations. –New Ziana


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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