President Mnangagwa has said some officials in the finance services sector have not done their work diligently, thus aiding illegal foreign currency trading which has adversely affected the country’s economy.
In his weekly instalment published by our sister paper The Sunday Mail and also in this publication, the President said the parallel foreign currency market had to be stopped to bring back normalcy in the country.
President Mnangagwa said he has instructed the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs (Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi) to work closely with the Attorney-General in order to produce a new set of regulations which will be promulgated under temporary law-making powers to arrest the illegal foreign currency trading situation.
“These regulations will remain in force for a statutory period of six months, during which a Bill will have to be processed for consideration by our legislators. We face a challenge which requires unity of purpose on the part of the three pillars of the State namely, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. We have to end this menace which now threatens the very fabric of our economy and society,” he said.
The President said illegal foreign currency trading has led to the collapse of proper pricing for goods and services.
“We have suffered massive market failures, manifesting in complete collapse of the pricing framework for virtually all commodities, regardless of import component. There has been a run on the bond note. In all this, there have been no winners, given that at the end of the day we are all consumers who demand and buy goods and services at any one stage for our survival.
“Those hit hardest are the sick, the unemployed, the poor and the vulnerable, including our hard-pressed workforce,” he said.
The President said he has received reports on illicit currency dealings that“point to an intricate network of currency speculators, mostly in high places and in places of trust.”
Said President Mnangagwa: “In a number of cases which have now been brought to Government’s attention, some of our guardians of the financial services sector have either not discharged their roles fully, or have not done so honestly. In other cases, some have colluded with negative elements, both inside and outside the banking system, to aid and abet these illicit transactions.”
The President added that since more than $9 billion passes through different electronic platforms leaving an “electronic trail”, it was unbelievable that illicit transactions have gone undetected or unnoticed.
“It simply cannot be,” said President Mnangagwa, adding; “Someone somewhere sees this, or simply winks. Overall, it is a story of sins of both omission and commission. Our whole financial sector risks disrepute, and therefore sanity has to be restored.”
The President said law enforcement agencies have been investigating the illicit forex activities and it has come to light that money changers (osiphatheleni) seen in street corners were agents of big “currency sharks who operate from high places in air-conditioned offices.” He said arrests will be made soon.
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