Police to conduct blitz on street traders manipulating new ZiG currency – Finance Minister  

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By Anna Chibamu

FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube has revealed that law enforcement agents will soon conduct a blitz on black market traders whom he says are manipulating the new structured currency, Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG).

This comes barely a week after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mushayavanhu announced the Monetary Policy Statement and a new currency backed by gold.

This is part of the government’s efforts to curb runaway inflation and distortion of the exchange rate.

Presenting a summary of the Monetary Policy Statement in Parliament, Ncube said he had received some information regarding the manipulation of the new currency by street vendors/money changers.

The new currency is already circulating electronically whilst the ZiG notes and coins will be in circulation after April 30.

Legislators raised concerns that the ZiG currency would come into circulation when the market had been distorted already and its value would not be recognised.

Prices of some commodities on the market had gone up with a packet of 2kgs sugar shooting up to US$4.

“Hon. Togarepi (Pupurai) said that he has noticed that some street traders are back on the street corners and may start attacking our domestic currency again.

“I received similar information as well as early this afternoon.  We are going to send out our law enforcement agency to do their work on a blitz to make sure that these vendors are dealt with.  They are cleared off the streets, and heavy fines are imposed on those caught trading in the parallel market.

“It is illegal. Therefore, if it is illegal, the law must take its course. I am also urging our law enforcement agents to move with speed to deal with this matter.  We cannot allow it,” Ncube said.

The MPs questioned whether civil servants would get their salaries on time or not this April, to which Ncube responded: “What RBZ mentioned was the issue of availability of hard cash being available later, at least by April 30 but in terms of receiving electronic payments into their accounts, civil servants will be able to receive these by April 18th or any time because ZiG is already operational.”