It has been a long time coming but the authorities have finally gazetted Statutory Instrument 61 of 2020. The new law allows the Registrar’s Office to ask for payment in foreign currency when Zimbabweans are applying for an emergency (24 hour passport). The hope is to stem the backlog that has seen Zimbabweans wait for years to get a passport.

The government continues on its Zimdollar for domestic use drumbeat but the reality is now much much different from the one they envisaged when they banned the multi-currency system. Little by little various sectors including ZIMRA, ZESA, Hotels, Fuel and now passports have been allowed to continue to use foreign currency.

The informal sector simply ignored the government’s many laws and continues to use foreign currency freely in their daily lives. In fact, despite threats of stiff punishment, no one has ever been punished for using foreign currency. The police who are supposed to enforce these rules happily look the other way in exchange for weekly/daily bribes.