So over the past few weeks, Zimbabwe’s citizens have seen the Zimbabwean dollar exchange rate rise from the placid levels of around 130 ZWL to 140 ZWL to astronomic levels of 170 ZWL per 1 USD. Alarmed Zimbabwean authorities have in response to this hit come out with guns blazing and blamed accused the unknown saboteurs of trying to sabotage their efforts to turn things around.

Outspoken MP for Norton Temba Mliswa recently published a thread on the issue on his Twitter account in which he touched on the issue of the spiking black market rates. Below is a quote of the full thread.

It should be understood that the spike in rates is the responsibility of those who give out money to the moneychangers. It’s not the recipient at fault. Big companies are involved and even the security of the country is involved. There isn’t enough forex in the formal system.

In a way it has also created employment for the money changers. Where there is a crisis there are opportunities. They are just riding on the opportunity and taking advantage of people who come to them. It’s not their fault. We should focus on the appropriate reasons& not these.

Black market rates often provide a more accurate reflection of a country’s economic circumstances than official exchange rates, therefore we need to focus on the factors that provide opportunities for the existence of the black market. Threats and heavy hands won’t work.

You cannot constantly threaten people about how to spend their money. It’s futile. Deal with the macro factors that anull any need for such informal contrivances.

Temba Mliswa on Twitter