The recent spike in black market rates with some businesses using an implied rate of 200 ZWL as to 1 USD has been a cause of concern to every ordinary Zimbabwean. Most people still earn their pay in Zimbabwean dollars and even though most people’s salaries are pegged to the exchange rate the rates used to calculate salaries are either the official rate or a rate that is much lower than this. A report by NewsHawks says this has led to concerns by government officials that this could cause civil unrest.

The government is now treating this as a matter of national security and has vowed to bring illegal foreign currency dealers to justice. A source said several foreign currency dealers had already been arrested and more arrests were coming soon. He also said that several corporate leaders who are sponsoring these illegal dealers would probably spend Christmas in jail.

There is news that there is going to be a crackdown on the foreign currency black market that will involve officials from the Ministry of Finance, RBZ and CIO. The government has accused several large companies of financing the black market. This is almost certainly true as most dealers have been linked to various companies and even government contractors. The government after having banned mobile money last year probably has a clearer view of who is engaged in illicit foreign currency trade as they have access to these companies’ bank accounts.