By Alois Vinga
THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says almost US$9 million was traded by individuals and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on the interbank market in five consecutive days last week.
The development could come as a sign government’s controversial move to abandon the multi-currency regime for the local dollar was bearing fruit.
Addressing guests at a Zim-dollar return feedback meeting early this week, central bank governor John Mangudya said clients who trusted the black market to sell their foreign currency were now turning to banks.
“Last week we saw individuals and NGOs changing their money on the Interbank market and on Monday last week, we saw an amount of US$800 000, Tuesday we realised about US$1 million being changed, on Wednesday we saw the amount raising to US$1.7 million through the banks and not the bureau de change, Thursday we saw US$2.9 million being changed and on Friday it was US$1.5 million.
“This means that US$8.9 million was exchanged by the individuals and NGOs who got RTGS$ deposited into their local bank accounts,” he said.
The RBZ boss said that he was impressed by the long of queues now seen in banks for those who will be selling their foreign currency.
He assured the nation that US dollars remain free funds for Zimbabweans and such money can be deposited into the individual Nostro FCA and also withdrawn at a maximum limit of US$1 000 per day.
One can choose to liquidate the funds at the obtaining interbank market exchange rates.
Mangudya said such funds cannot be seized as they are not related to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
“We saw many social media stories alleging that such funds are going to face liquidation as determined by the interbank market but I want to assure you that we are not as bad as many of you think we are and I have noticed that as a nation we do not like each other,” Mangudya said.
He added that the amount traded last week shows that the country is receiving a sizeable chunk of foreign currency from the diaspora which is in the range of US$100 million and US$230 million per year from exports giving the country a total US$330 million.
According to the central bank, about US$645 million has been traded on the interbank market since the platform was established in February this year.