Zimbabwe dollar falls by 89 cents as central bank continues crackdown on forex abusers





HARARE – The Zimbabwe dollar today fell by 89 cents to average $88.5532 at today’s foreign currency auction which saw 1 608 entities allotted US$46.5 million.

The fall came as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe named 47 individuals whom it said were involved in illegal foreign currency trading and money laundering.

The central bank has so far outed 77 individuals and eight financial institutions for illegal foreign currency dealings using mobile phone services and the social media.

Critics, however, say the central bank is only scratching the surface as it is dealing with the small fry and not the big fish who are responsible dishing out millions into the black market.

The central bank has been forced to take action because of the continuing decline of the Zimbabwe dollar which has even baffled industry which wonders why the gap between the official exchange rate and the parallel market rate has widened while inflation has declined from 837.5% in July last year to 51.6% last month.

The local currency is trading at between $130 and $160 on the black market, almost double the auction rate.

Offers at the auction today ranged from $85 to $98 which has fuelled speculation that some businesses are buying foreign currency at the auction and offloading it onto the black market.