Zimbabwean businesses recently expressed frustration over the delays that they were facing when it came to obtaining foreign currency from the official auction. They also went on to claim that due to the interest rates they ended up incurring as a result of this plus other expenses the effective official rate was closer to 120 ZWL rather than the 88 ZWL that was cited by the RBZ.

The delays have also cost us a great deal of money as we have suffered supply glitches and a rise in US$ costs in the past months. Various goods and commodities have increased prices in US dollars so the time value of money is key here.

The delays have also cost us a great deal of money as we have suffered supply glitches and a rise in US$ costs in the past months. Various goods and commodities have increased prices in US dollars so the time value of money is key here.

Sifelani Jabangwe speaking on behalf of the business Industry

Businesses argued that due to this backlog they ended up incurring charges that were not too different from those of the black market when they acquired their foreign currency at the auction. They also said they were not getting enough foreign currency from the auction to fund their needs. An example is that of the cooking oil industry which needs about US$480 million per year but was only getting around US$120 million instead-less of half of what they need.

This has left a lot of businesses with no option but to try their hand at getting the money they need from the black market. This has prompted an angry response from the authorities who accuse businesses of double dipping. Some businesses have also been accused of using black market rates to cost their goods even though they partake in the official foreign currency auction.

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