Retailers raise red flag over interbank market system
…business still rely on black market for forex
Retailers have raised a red flag and are crying foul as they suspect manipulation of the interbank market system after failing to access foreign currency since its introduction in February.
MONA LISA DUBE
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, John Mangudya, introduced the interbank foreign currency market where banks and bureau de change would trade in foreign currency on a willing buyer-willing seller basis.
The system was meant to bring sanity in the foreign currency market.
However, retailers said since the system was introduced, they have been failing to access the much-needed foreign currency hence suspicion of manipulation.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president, Denford Mutashu, told zifmnews.com the unavailability of foreign currency on the interbank market reflects manipulation of the system.
“We think that there is manipulation because so far very few companies have reported receiving the foreign currency from the market and we also do not know if that money that has come through is serving its intended purpose,” Mutashu said.
“In an environment where the majority are complaining about lack of access, I think that should raise eyebrows and we need to quickly interrogate the system”, he added
Mutashu said the floating of the RTGS dollar on the interbank market is not yielding positive results and businesses are still depending on the parallel market for foreign currency.
“Unfortunately there are more buyers than sellers. The willing buyer willing seller concept on the interbank market will take us back to land reform. It never worked during the land reform causing the government to move in and use other methods.”
“This has forced businesses to go back to the alternative market where rates are not controlled. One has got to make a decision between closure and continuing operations. A lot of the times because we love our country, should we have to try and find ways and means to continue but the environment is quite difficult?”
The central bank chief has however said the low activity on the interbank market was because companies could not afford the rate on the market.
The US dollar to RTGS dollar was opened at 2.5 in February and later rose to 3.03 progressing towards the 1:4 rate on the parallel market.