The Zimbabwean dollar has been “stable” for the past couple of weeks and has even gained value on the black market but it seems a lot of businesses are not buying into the hype. The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe recently revealed that they had been flooded with complaints from consumers over service providers, retail shops, local authorities and even government departments who are now charging exclusively in US dollars. The Consumer Council went on further to warn businesses that the Zimbabwean dollar was still legal tender.

CCZis inundated with consumer complaints on service providers, retail shops, local authorities and some government departments who are charging exclusively in USD for services and products. The Zimbabwe dollar currency remains legal tender.

CCZ appreciates efforts by [the] Financial Intelligence Unit in trying to address this unfair practice. We urge consumers to report such errant behaviours.

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Acting Executive Director Rosemary Mpofu

A notice from CCZ on the issue of businesses demanding exclusive USD payments

While it is very true that the Zimbabwean dollar has been stable some businesses are afraid of being trapped with large Zimbabwean dollar balances that will result in exchange rate losses when the parallel market rate moves up. Thus far most businesses have been cautious when it comes to handling the Zimbabwean dollar.

The Financial Intelligence Unit has been working overtime trying to tame errant businesses who keep demanding foreign currency but they have their work cut out for them. While they will most likely succeed against large entities and local government authorities like the Harare City Council smaller businesses will most likely escape their notice and continue unabated. A great example are the downtown Harare tuckshops that have operated with impunity for years. They do not pay taxes but demand payments to be made exclusively in US dollars.