By Alois Vinga
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has slapped a Chinese-owned restaurant with a US$30 000 fine for violating exchange rate regulations.
A letter written by the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to Shangri-La Restaurant’s managing director states that around February 9, 2022 the business sold and advertised for sale products using an exchange rate above the ruling official rate of the day.
Various products offered by Shangri-La Restaurant were at an exchange rate of US$1:$240 thereby breaching Section 3(7) of Statutory Instrument 127 of 2021.
“As a result ,the restaurant shall pay a fine of US$30 000 or equivalent in Zimbabwean dollars ,at the auction rate applicable on date of payment and the amount shall incur a further 5% of the said amount or any portion thereof that remains unpaid,” said FIU.
“However the operation of the penalty above is suspended for seven days from date and time of service of the penalty notice to allow Shangri-La Restaurant and Takeaway to make written representations, if any, why the penalty should not be confirmed.
“In the event that the restaurant fails to show sufficient cause within seven days ,the penalty shall be deemed confirmed from the date of expiry of the seven days, in which case payment of the full fine shall become due within 48 hours.”
Most businesses are not adhering to the RBZ’s interbank rate which is usually at half of the prevalent black market.
A NewZimbabwe.com article last year revealed how most of the country’s leading fast food outlets were using illegal foreign exchange rates.
New Zim TV has over the past week been analysing pricing in most major retail outlets that have also been using illegal rates.