New Zimbabwe.com

Zim accountants rattled by multi-currency ban

By Matabeleland North Correspondent

A top chartered accountant says members of the profession in the country are struggling to balance books in the wake of what he termed the rushed abandonment of the multi-currency system by government.

Takesure Famba, who is Zimbabwe’s head of the global Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), was addressing fellow professionals at the body’s annual winter school in Victoria Falls this past week.

Government last month imposed a ban on the multi-currency regime through Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 which restored the local currency as the sole legal tender for domestic transactions.

Famba said government should have consulted key stakeholders before imposing the policy.

“As we meet this year, the topical issue is the major policy changes made by government like the SI-142 where we de-dollarised our economy.

“The general consensus is that definitely as a country, we do need our own currency but we are not happy in the manner in which this was implemented.

“There was no consultation as it was just an overnight thing and caught everybody unawares, and we are grappling now to say how do we deal with some transactions with contracts, how do we deal with books and how do we report,” said Famba.

He said ACCA, a global body with over 200 000 members in 105 countries, is a forward thinking body which usually seeks to be ahead of changes so its professionals remain relevant to the trends.

“These are the things that now we are trying to think over. If government had come to us earlier on we could have dealt with these issues and had a buy-in from all stakeholders,” he said, adding that accountants were facing acquittal challenges in their operations owing to overnight change of currency.

“It’s a policy that has already been passed. So we just have to comply but obviously there are a lot of challenges that we are facing which is why we are now coming together to say how do we deal with that.”

Recently, a top human rights lawyer, Godfrey Mupanga approached the High Court seeking an order to reverse Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube’s scrapping of the multi-currency basket.

The court challenge, came as former Finance Minister Tendai Biti also told parliament that the scrapping of the system was both illegal and disastrous.

Biti was minister in 2009 when the multi-currency regime was introduced.