ONE of Zimbabwe’s biggest fast foods group Simbisa brands, Wednesday announced it was effectively reverting to the use of US dollars as the country’s financial problems continue to deepen.
In a statement the company said its bankers are failing to provide it with its requisite foreign currency allocations it needs for operations.
“Due to the prevailing national circumstances all our bankers are failing to provide us with foreign currency at the regulated exchange rate of 1:1 between the US and local dollars,” said the statement.
Government has stuck to its guns arguing it will maintain the prevailing currency regime of equivalent rate between the Greenback and a local surrogate currency known as the bond note.
Simbisa runs a chain of fast foods outlets among them Nandos, Chicken Inn, Fish Inn and Ocean Basket among other.
The company said it requires foreign currency to pay franchise fees for the brands it uses in Zimbabwe as well as other taxes.
“Due to the severe foreign currency shortages facing our the country we are failing to meet outstanding obligations for raw materials and franchise fees which cannot be substituted locally due to intellectual property agreements on brands,” the group said.
Simbisa said it employs 4000 “associates” and serves 4,5 million customers every month and has decided to “reduce prices to below cost were payable in US dollars” but will continue to accept others payment for a including the bond note albeit at higher charges.