Call for packages for cross border traders Dr Zivhu

Nesia Mhaka and Charmaine Brown
The Zimbabwe Cross Border Traders Association (ZCBTA) has implored the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and Bureaux de Change to come up with a master plan that will prevent illegal foreign currency traders from accessing cash from the official channels.

Speaking at a Press conference yesterday, ZCBTA president Dr Killer Zivhu said the liquidity crisis in the country was adversely affecting cross border traders and benefiting illegal foreign currency dealers, who were destabilising the market through the manipulation of exchange rates.

Dr Zivhu was reacting to the recent Monetary Policy Statement announced by RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya, which floated the foreign currency exchange rate and hinted at the return of Bureaux de Change.

“Bureaux de Change must come up with strict measures to prevent money changers from getting money from them and making profit out of it,” he said.

Dr Zivhu said the black market could only be curbed through the disbursement of foreign currency to cross border traders to dissuade them from approaching illegal foreign currency dealers.

“By availing the facility to the cross border traders, this will be the beginning of eradication of the black market,” he said.

“At the present moment, the RBZ does not have control over rates, even if they put an official rate, as long as our forex market is controlled on the streets, positive results will be difficult to achieve.”

Dr Zivhu said they were ready to meet with the RBZ and Ministry of Finance officials to share their ideas on measures that can be implemented to reduce illegal foreign currency trading on the streets.

“We believe that both the RBZ Governor and the Minister of Finance will take our advice,” he said.

“We want packages for cross border traders, whereby they will be buying forex from banks which have master cards and prepaid visa cards.

“When one buys forex, it must be deposited in the Visa card or Master card to avoid handling cash and thus reducing trading on the black market.”

Dr Zivhu said they were willing to assist the Government by conducting awareness campaigns and workshops about the pre-paid Visa and Mastercards to ensure foreign currency goes through the right channels.

The Monetary Policy Statement announced by Dr Mangudya has been widely welcomed by business and    other stakeholders as it is expected to stabilise the markets.

The foreign currency official trading has already begun at 1:2,5, a move that will help stabilise the foreign currency market by making it predictable.

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