So over the past few days, the government and its various departments started expressing concerns over the recent surge in black market exchange rates that are currently somewhere near the 180 ZWL per 1 USD mark. As fate would have it, it seems the ZRP who are tasked with enforcing the usage of the official rate were actually using black market rates in an auction they wanted to carry out yesterday.

This had social media tongues waging for if the ZRP itself was using a rate of 160 ZWL per 1 USD surely it meant everyone else should be using black market rates? Well, the ZRP was forced to make a u-turn after the matter was exposed. According to their latest public notice on the issue, it was all a misunderstanding and in the end the auction ended up using the official rate. Those who had won bids and wanted to pay in USD could do so using the official rate.

The ZRP advises the public that it has taken note of the message posted on
on the pending auction of boarded and accident-damaged vehicles by JEFFM Auction who won the bid.

Please take note that JEFFM Auction management has been directed by the ZRP Command to accept payments using the RBZ official rate. Potential buyers are accordingly informed. We thank the public and the media for raising concern over the issue.

ZRP on Twitter

Feigned ignorance

The ZRP probably figured that feigning ignorance on the whole matter would be the lesser of two evils. The other option would have been to dig in and admit they too, like pretty much everyone including government officials in Zimbabwe, use black market rates when charging for goods and services. That would have been unflattering so instead, we are to believe the ZRP was unaware that their auction agents were using a black market rate. That they did know this was happening sounds dubious but plausible enough for them to say it.

The truth is most people use the unofficial rate when exchanging money in their daily lives just like for example, members of the ZRP board mushikashika lifts when they want to get home because ZUPCO buses are just not enough.