Zimbabwe police arrest 102 people over rejection of local currency

By Almot Maqolo

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The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has so far arrested 102 suspects with 28 appearing in court in Harare since the start of operation ‘accept Zimbabwe currency as legal tender’.

This comes as the Zimbabwean dollar is collapsing against the United States dollar on the country’s black market. Consumers have been left exposed as some businesses have decided to pick which bond notes to accept, with some virtually closing the door on all coins. The Zimbabwe dollar encompasses the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) dollar as well as bond notes and electronic money balances. However, Zimbabweans continue to lose confidence in the local currency.

National Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi reiterated that traders and business entities who continue to refuse to accept local currency risk being arrested and taken to court for the law to take its course. “Since the onset of the operation Accept Zimbabwe currency as legal tender on the 26th June 2020, a total of 102 suspects have been arrested with 28 appearing in court in Harare,” he said.

“Members of the public are urged to continue reporting to the nearest police station traders and businesses who contravene Section 3(2) as read with Section 4 of Statutory Instrument 175/2008 in terms of Section 48 of Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Act, [Chapter 24;24] (No. 2 of 2004).”

Notes and coins which are legal tender are bond coins, bond notes in $2 and $5 and banknotes in denominations of $2, $5, $10 and $20. Zimbabwe’s second foreign currency auction, saw the local currency trading at an average of 63.7447 to the US dollar. The southern African nation unpegged the local currency last week, which saw the Zimbabwe dollar depreciating by more than 50 percent against the US dollar to $57.39.

However, the new official exchange rate remains below the parallel market rate which is ranging from 80-90 per US dollar depending on the method of payment. The southern African nation is in the grips of a worsening economic crisis characterised by soaring inflation, stagnant wages and shortages of fuel and other essentials

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