Yesterday OK supermarket was forced to write a memo to its various branches in the wake of SI 127 of 2021. The internal memorandum instructed all branches to stop accepting USD and other foreign currency at its tills. The company and many others were forced to make the move because their systems cannot issue receipts in other currencies. Their Point of Sale software only prints receipts in ZWL. Prior to the new law, the businesses would simply use the prevailing rate to convert USD to ZWL and issue a ZWL receipt.

OK’s internal memorandum on the issue

OK can now start accepting USD again

The RBZ was forced to issue a statement allowing businesses to start accepting USD again late last night following two days of absolute chaos in the market. This came after OK and other businesses stopped accepting foreign currency so as to comply with the new law that requires them to issue receipts in foreign currency when they receive payment in foreign currency.

The statement by the RBZ essentially means that businesses can continue to accept foreign currency while they upgrade their systems. They have two weeks in order to complete these upgrades. Why the RBZ and the government had not thought of this is a mystery and reflects the dangers of legislating using Statutory Instruments instead of amending and passing laws via parliament.