THE Reserve Bank governor seems to be trying his utmost to kill Zimbabwe industry and at the same time make life untenable for the average Zimbabwean with his selective application of companies being able to trade in single currencies.
The requirement to license can only be assumed to be a mechanism for the Reserve Bank to collect revenue from any forex traded and not in the overall interests of the people of Zimbabwe.
We now see shops selling South African goods and no local goods because they no longer want to sell in local currency and Zimbabwean manufacturers are not allowed to sell in forex.Â
Again this can only be so the Reserve Bank can keep tabs on how much it is owed in forex irrespective of the hardship it causes the country and ordinary people.Â
Many large and small companies have not traded for several months or have been trading at sub-economic levels and are unable to raise any forex let alone the US$20 000 needed to register, so they are in a Catch 22 situation —— cannot register to sell in forex so cannot get back on their feet, again all because the Reserve Bank wants its pound of flesh.Â
The requirement to register first before trading in forex has meant a lot of companies are in limbo as they wait for approval, or otherwise, and are rapidly losing the market to South African suppliers or those that have been registered.
Obviously those who are turned down or are unable to afford to register would best be advised to close shop forthwith as continuing in Zimbabwean dollars cannot be sustainable in the face of South African competition and the unknown value of the Zimbabwean dollar. Â
Â If the Reserve Bank governor really had the interests of the country at heart he would allow everyone to trade in the currency of their choice and try to tax them the best he can —— not that it is his job but the Minister of Finance’s anyway.
Â Consumers are also not spared.Â The lucky few who have forex are not able to buy local products like milk and vegetables from some shops while the unlucky ones cannot get most things, even mealie meal, as they do not have any forex, although they may have loads of Zimbabwean dollars.
Again, if the Reserve Bank allowed all retailers to maximise sales they would sell in both currencies, a realistic Zimbabwean dollar rate would soon emerge and all levels of society would be able to buy the things they need in the currency they have access to —— and fuel coupons being forced on us as a currency is just plain madness.